Monday, April 17, 2006

Question from Shannon - Another illegit. son of Henry VIII

I have come across information that an Agnes Bewitt Beupine married to William Edwardes had an illegitimate son,Richard, for Henry VIII and that is how the family recieved Edwards Hall in Wales. Henry never claimed him, as Agnes was already married. Does anyone know about this?


Blogger BritishNut56 said...

Would it be possible to share the information which you have found? I have never heard of Henry VIII's 'son' Richard, and would love to read the information you have.

Is it available via a web-site or book?

April 17, 2006 8:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Henry VIII did have another illegitimate son named Richard Edwardes. His mother was Henry VIII's mistress was Agnes Blewitt.
Although Henry VIII never acknowledged Richard because he was illegitimate, Agnes specifically claimed that he was the father. She was already married so her husband raised Richard and Richard took his name out of shame. His descendants are the only direct descendants of Henry VIII since all of his legitimate offspring died childless.

July 02, 2006 9:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a descendant of Richard, Henry and Agnes' son. Couldn't Henry have had other illegitimate offspring who would also have direct descendants?

July 31, 2006 10:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is also the claim that Mary Boleyn had 1, if not 2, children by Henry. The oldest, Catherine Carey, went on to marry Sir Francis Knollys (their daughter, Lettice Knollys, served Elizabeth 1 and married Robert Dudley). The other, Henry Carey, is slightly less enthusiastically tied to Henry VIII.

August 19, 2006 2:45 PM  
Anonymous Lauren said...

I am also a direct descendant of Richard Edwardes, I have traced his paternal lineage through Henry VIII and William Edwardes, his foster-father. To my knowledge there is more proof that Richard was Henry's natural son than that he was Edwardes' son.

September 06, 2006 8:50 PM  
Anonymous Kimberly L. Adkins said...

I am a direct decendant of this line. I have not heard of any other illegitimate children, but I imagine it is highly likely. I would find it hard to believe he just had the one mistress in his whole life; especially considering this is a man who was married 6 times and is known to have repeatedly tried to have a son. It seems to me it is only logical he would be trying to have a son with anyone he could have one with.

December 04, 2006 7:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there any proof that Richard
Edwards is Henry Vlll's son?
I am interested in the Edwards
Family. I would Be a great great
Great Etc.

January 09, 2007 3:15 PM  
Blogger Edwards said...

I have a tree that goes from this Richard down to the Edwards associated with the so called Edwards Millions

February 13, 2007 10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was reading a copy of a book by David Edwards yesterday. I was interested because I too am an Edwards and I live in North Petherton. (I am not of Richards line though) I looked on Ancestry and it has his burial in Somerset. I thought in the book it said he died in London?

May 07, 2007 2:52 PM  
Anonymous Amy said...


I to am a descendant of Richard Edwards. I wonder why, if he really is an illegitmate son why it is not shown in any history books. Is this just a legend that was passed down from generation to generation. Hope someone can clear this up.

May 10, 2007 2:53 PM  
Anonymous mary cordell-edwards said...

i believe richard was murdered by lord hunsdon,i researched this for years,i,d be interested in seeing these peoples trees that are on the line,there are so many people who say they are a direct descendant,i,m sorry i dont think so.

May 24, 2007 6:49 PM  
Anonymous N Edwards said...

I have trees on Edwards and Donne
Go to search my blog as well

May 31, 2007 10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi N I am a bit confused how can I find you Blog on Edwards and Donnes?
I meant to say before I actually had a guided tour of Haswell House in North Petherton a few weeks ago, such a beautiful place. Parts are Elizabethan. Richards family must have been very well off to live there.

June 01, 2007 6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Help i'm really confused! I'm doing a history project that needs to be in by 2moz! what are the names of all henry's illegitimate children?


November 07, 2007 9:37 AM  
Blogger Lara said...

As far as I know, the only acknowledged bastard of Henry VIII was Henry Fitzroy. So all the rest rely on either the word of the mother, later claims or timing of a child's birth with a possible affair with Henry VIII.

November 07, 2007 9:43 AM  
Blogger Teri said...

I am a descendant of Richard Edwardes. I say let's exhume the body and put this to rest. DNA could settle this forever!

November 16, 2007 10:45 AM  
Anonymous monica said...

I'd love them to exhume Richard's body, and Henry and Catherine Carey's.

Personally, I see no proof that Richard was descended from Henry, it was simply a rumour started centuries later by people who want to think they are the descendants of Henry VIII. There's no contemporary reference to it that I am aware of.

November 27, 2007 12:53 PM  
Blogger Angela C. said...

I am also descended from Richard Edwards, I'm an American with the last name of Lewis. I have a family tree showing the line going up to Henry VIII and Agnes Blewitt. I would also love to know if they really had a child. It would make sense, since the Lewises were granted a farm stretching from what is now Wall Street to Bleecker Street in Manhattan, and it was a specific land grant from the Crown. In other words, there was a favoritism shown there. [This was pre-Revolutionary War]

April 07, 2008 11:01 AM  
Blogger veronica said...

I'm throwing my hat in too...I can trace my family tree to Fesmire, to Edwards, to Henry Tudor....I'm going to do more research to make sure we haven't messed up somewhere but this is all so fascinating! I would love to find more info on Agnes or get any source recommendations from anyone.

April 21, 2008 3:00 PM  
Blogger Angela C. said...

I am inclined to believe that there is a reason that this has been swept under the rug -- after all, if we are the only direct descendants of Henry VIII, that makes us claimants to some important part of royal history [albeit not through wedlock]. And to be honest with you I think it is on purpose that there is so little mention of this in the "official" history. Even the website for the 500th anniversary of Henry [exhibit in a castle in England] does not mention it.

May 19, 2008 8:49 AM  
Blogger DianaD said...

This is a fascinating subject. I too am descended from the Edwards family that was granted land in what is now New York. If he was a descendent of Henry VIII, it would explain why he was rewarded so generously, and also, to 'get him out of the way' in the New World! I would love to hear from anyone who can share their research with me, and to say hi to other Edwards descendents (my relatives).

July 02, 2008 2:49 AM  
Anonymous Rachael said...

Hi all...I too have traced my ancestry back to Richard Edwardes/Edwards, supposed son of Henry VIII. I live in the great state of Texas...I discovered this a few months ago and I find it soooooo fascinating. Just got through watching The Other Boleyn Girl...this got my curiousity churning again, so here I am....hello relatives.

July 08, 2008 1:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im a descendant of him too! i think its true. She was a mistress to him and it would fit king henry's personality to have a bunch of illegitimate children.

July 09, 2008 6:28 PM  
Blogger archaeologygrl said...

I am a decendant as well!!! Hello Relatives!!!!

I am curious though about what "mary cordell-edwards" said "i believe richard was murdered by lord hunsdon" What do you mean and I would love to help you research this as well if you wouldn't mind contacting me.

I was wondering if I could get some information on this property that our ancestor was said to be given?

I find all this fascinating for sure as all of you have. We should have a reunion, LOL!

July 20, 2008 10:21 PM  
Blogger Julia L. Haninger said...

My sister just found our direct connection to Richard Edwardes, which I'll probably be posting on my blog soon.

My Edwardses eventually wound up in South Carolina c. 1700s, with my grandmother moving to Ohio.

August 23, 2008 9:33 PM  
Blogger Julia L. Haninger said...

Agnes Blewitt (mother of our Richard Edwardes) is of royal and noble descent herself--using the Dowling Family Genealogy page on and some other sites (Yes, I do realize these are user-edited and prone to error), I was able to trace her directly to Henry I, Edward I, Charlemagne of the Holy Roman Empire, and many other kings plus tons of nobles--not surprising, since European royalty is just one big unhappy, incestuous family.

August 24, 2008 8:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love it when one paths leads to so many, ...

Anyway - just a shout out to all my Edwards family, ... I'm connected through ... the edwards,mayes,bransome,turner,cook line!

Hey - we all come from somewhere right?

August 31, 2008 8:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Found on A2A Somerset records

FILE - N.PETHERTON - ref. DD\S\WH/272 - date: 1554
[from Scope and Content] Evidence concerning the claim by Agnes Edwards, tenant of Lady Cary to 1/3 pt. of Rodeland, which had been taken by Jn.Billy of Woolavington, tenant of Alex.Popham and Nich.Halswell, owners of the other 2/3,some geneological detail of the Edwards family. Signed and sealed by those giving evidence.

October 23, 2008 7:08 PM  
Anonymous patricia said...

Hi All,
The Somerset record office is open 2 days per week and I shall be able to visit each week as I live in North Petherton.
I can do any look ups, photos or copies as required for a minimal expense fee. I can send to you by post or email.
I shall post any documents details of interest as I find them in the same format of my previous posting above.
I cannot charge for the information I give you, just my time and charges for photo copies or camera charge that I have to pay the record office.
Should you wish my help please contact

October 26, 2008 5:10 PM  
Blogger D R Lawhead said...

I have also traced my lineage back to Henry Tudor and Agnes Blewitt. Through 8 generations of Edwards and 6 generations of Kraus/Crouse/Croufe (it changed twice). Now ofcourse there is no way to prove that Richard was King Henry's son. But it would make perfect sense that he would deny Richard. The last thing that he would want is a bastard son of a whore (excuse my language) to take the crown. But not just any body was born in the King's castle. So there was an importance.

November 13, 2008 5:16 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

I've read some posts suggesting that there were two Richard Edwards that were born and died around the same time in England. Of course, this could lead many amateur genealogists (like myself) to assume they are the same person. This has to do specifically with whether the Richard who was Agnes' son was married to Margaret Babb or Helen Griffith or both. My ancestry seems to be through whoever was married to Margaret, but unfortunately I have no real way of knowing if that Richard was Agnes' son. Does anyone know of any actual evidence or records to indicate whether Richard had one wife or two? I'm afraid this is a case where being confined to doing most of my research online (and not crossing the pond to do the actual legwork) will likely lead to false information. Obviously, the desire to link oneself to Henry VIII would be tempting to anyone, but a serious amount of skepticism is required when you’re dealing a genealogical connection to such an (in)famous person.

November 15, 2008 12:03 PM  
Blogger Belinda Pence said...

I also am a descendant of Henry VIII and Agnes Blewett. We live in NC.

November 16, 2008 7:56 PM  
Anonymous Edwards granddaughter said...

I've found a link in my tree to Richard Edwardes, too. But between me and Richard is that messy family of Sir Thomas Nathaniel Edwards. Some sources say I descend from Thomas's son Joseph. Others say Joseph is Thomas's grandson. I'm convinced, if there really was a Joseph in that family, he was a the child of Thomas's son William Harrison Edwards. Or maybe Joseph is somebody's middle name. And there's a Polly/Dolly/Isabel/Isbel Chalmler/Chamber/Chermer/Creamer who was William's wife.

Joseph's descendants ended up in the US South. John Edwards (Joseph's grandson, I think) married Olive Exum, a documented descendant of the House of Plantagenet, and also of the controversial Ruffin/Ruthven line of the House of Stewart.

So when are they going to start calling me the Countess of Delaware?

March 21, 2009 12:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a descendant of Richard Edwardes. Richard Edwardes > Richard Edwardes Jr. > Joshua Edwards > William Edwards > Thomas Edwards > Robert Thomas Edwards > Sir Thomas Nathaniel Edwards > John Crawford Edwards > Samuel Edwards > James Drew Edwards > Eaton W. Edwards > George Henry Edwards > Roger George Edwards > Roger Garvin Edwards > Larry Lee Edwards > aaaaannnd ME!

No matter how diluted my "royal" blood may be, it's still a fascinating idea. I've always been told my facial structure spoke of British royal lineage. Haha!

My question is though -- wouldn't having an heir rank higher than preserving the sanctity of marriage? Why would King Henry Tutor VIII not claim a male heir, even illegitimate? (IF this is even true, there's no hard proof.)

Eh, one of those questions I'll ask when I meet my ancestors on the other side I guess. lol

Oh, I'm from the "Edwards of Northampton" line... mainly Southampton Co., VA and Northampton Co., NC. My family and I reside in Northampton.

July 06, 2009 8:58 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

I am also a decendant, just to touch on what the last annynomas said about the facial structure. I look almost identical to our ancester's half sister, Mary I. It was really intresting when I cam across a painting of her when she was my age.

July 06, 2009 9:30 PM  
Blogger Janine said...

I too have direct lineage to Richard Edwards thru his son William who owned a piece of land in Jamestown, according to a copy of a 1600s map that I obtained from the "Old Williamsburg" archives in Virginia fifteen years ago.

My great, great, grandfather John Alonzo Edwards migrated to Texas in the 1860s from the Carolinas. He settled in Palo Pinto County and went into the cattle business and was a trail driver. He took cattle all the way to Oregon. He was famous for the JAL brand that was later sold to the Cowden cousins in Midland, Texas.
Does anyone have a connection here?

August 22, 2009 9:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, I've been on Ancestry dot com for about a month now tracing back my family and have discovered today that I too am related to this King through Edwards as well. If you want any information I have gathered you may e-mail me at

~Denisha Thibodeaux

October 14, 2009 3:26 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

I'm a descendant of Samuel Edwards, but until yesterday I had no idea of his lineage. I'm not sure about the Henry VIII thing through Richard Edwardes, but it would certainly explain my fascination with the Tudors. I just wish someone had DNA proof.

November 07, 2009 5:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can't touch royalty with a stick, let alone DNA testing. I should think if Henry was needing a son so badly, a bastard would have been better than nothing. He could have had his mistresses husband killed (in a freak accident), and then married her. But then, it would look messy, her having two children previously. Interesting that he should pay for the lads education, and give the woman some land, to keep things quiet. Perhaps he was hoping yet for a son through his wife(s). To be honest, I should think the royals would have had the boy killed, for wouldn't he have been a threat, being Henry's only son, and therefore rightful heir to the crown? Just a thought.

December 16, 2009 4:00 PM  
Blogger K8 said...

Offing his mistress's husband may have been trickier than you would think. Consider Elizabeth I and her rumored lover Robert Dudley: Dudley's wife Amy died after falling down a flight of stairs, and even though it's likely that it was indeed an accident, the fact that it would have been convenient for the Queen and Dudley to have Amy out of the picture looked bad. Because of the possibility of it having been a murder (although an official inquiry into the case determined that it wasn't), Amy's death effectively ruled out a marriage between Elizabeth and Dudley. Royals may have been at the mercy of public opinion less so than modern politicians, but had to deal with it none the less.

Additionally, royal bastards have in most cases been allowed to live as long as they don't cause trouble. In fact, they were regularly given excellent positions in either government and/or the church as long as it seemed that they had no aspirations to the crown. Plenty of kings had several bastards that lived normal(ish) lives and have descendants that are now living.

Anyway, my point is that finding examples of royal bastards that produced progeny is easy. Verifying who one's ancestors are, figuring out their parentage, and identifying false ties to famous people is the hard part. I wouldn't be surprised if most people with European heritage were related to royalty of some kind, whether it be through legitimate children or bastards.

December 16, 2009 4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very interesting point of view. I like it and think it is very plausible.I do believe that Richard was Henry's son. Personally, I would rather be a descendant of the Edwards family that the Tudors. Henry and all of the royals were a lousy bunch.

January 08, 2010 8:16 AM  
Blogger K8 said...

Unfortunately, I think you're making a lot of leaps there. Being an English history buff, no one would love it more than I would to find that Richard Edwardes (also my direct ancestor) is a son of Henry VIII, but here's why it's unlikely:

1. One of the main issues concerning Richard Edwardes is that there were two of them: one that may or may not be an illegitimate child of Henry VIII, one that was a poet (and did indeed perform for Elizabeth I) but had no Tudor connections whatsoever. The lives of these two people have been tangled almost hopelessly by amateur genealogists. The first step would be telling the two apart, which I believe would take a much closer examination of all the original records and is beyond online research (now if only my husband will agree to that trip to the UK…).

2. The issue you raise concerning Agnes’ last name deserves some closer examination. Firstly, the assumption that she had to have been high nobility based on her last name and connection to Raglan Castle isn’t necessarily a safe one. The English peerage then (and now) was big. Even a couple generations removing her from the direct line of Blewitts/Bloets who held Raglan Castle would be enough to diminish her nobility substantially. Furthermore, Henry was at odds with the Welsh for much of his reign. It’s a mistake to assume that she was of such high nobility that she and Henry HAD to have met at some point, although it’s a possibility.

3. Even if you take for granted that Agnes and Henry probably met (which while possible is already a leap), it’s an even greater leap to assume that they had a sexual relationship because they met. Henry had a track record for going after anything in a skirt, sure, but it would have been superhuman for him to have slept with EVERY female noble in his kingdom, or even most of them.

4. Finally, even if you take for granted that they met, had sex, and produced a child, there’s no reason at all why Henry wouldn’t have acknowledged the progeny. His mistress Bessie Blount gave birth to a son by Henry who the King would later make Duke of Richmond. Henry then attempted to pass a law allowing this son to be his heir and the eventual King of England. Considering Henry’s famous desire to have a son (and bearing in mind that at the time Richard was born he was still in desperate need of a male heir), he would have acknowledged him. If lopping of Anne Boleyn’s head was fair game to Henry in order to get a male heir, I think that any embarrassment that might have arisen from his impregnating a member of the family that raised his father would not have been enough to stop him. Maybe it wouldn’t even have been an embarrassment—if a female relative was sharing a bed with and possibly had the ear of the King, it was usually a good thing that demanded exploitation.

At any rate, there’s no way I would even give the probability of Richard’s father being Henry VIII a 12%, let alone a 98%. Some of the information on Agnes’s family’s origins might amount to circumstantial evidence, but I think even that is generous. I personally would need a lot more hard evidence before I add Henry VIII to my family tree.

January 08, 2010 8:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm revisiting this post a little under a year after my original posting. I came across it again researching my Edwards grandfather to clarify and fill in some holes. I noticed the newest posts are recent, so the burning question is:

As an amateur genealogist, where should I go from Richard Edwardes? Should I list him as adopted by William Edwardes and biologically Henry's, then build upon both lines? Or should I simply ignore the Tutor connection, considering there is no way humanly possible to confirm Richard's connection to the Tutor family and his illegitimacy?

Amazing how far this simple question has gone.

January 10, 2010 4:53 PM  
Blogger K8 said...

I think the last post hits on an important issue that every genealogist has to address: how certain of someone's lineage do you have to be (or want to be) before you add someone to your tree? I myself like to have some pretty convincing proof. Genealogy stops being fun when you start making assumptions and are less and less certain that the people you are researching has anything to do with you and your bloodline.

As someone in the same position of deciding whether or not Henry VIII should be in my tree or not, I will give you the answer I came to: no. The main reason I came to that decision is the first point I made in my last post. There were at least two Richard Edward(e)s in England at the time whose lives have become tangled by online genealogists. They are so confused that I don't think it's possible to figure out who is who with online research alone. Bear in mind also that ANY instance of a famous person appearing in one's bloodline needs to be treated with the utmost suspicion. Sadly, there are a lot of bad genealogists that let their desire to be linked to notable people cloud their research. They are the people that make working on genealogy much harder for those who just want to know the truth, whether that truth involves royalty or not. I personally have stopped researching the Edwards line altogether because I can't be sure of any of the online information relating to him.

That said, there's no reason why you can't research Henry VIII's genealogy with the knowledge that there is only a very very slight chance that he is a direct ancestor and still enjoy it. I recommend checking out Alison Weir's work on the Tudors: she's devoted a lot of time to researching them and has a writing style that's makes the history fun to read. Henry VIII is an interesting person whether you're his long lost bastard descendant or not.

January 10, 2010 6:05 PM  
Blogger Momarch said...

I stumbled across this Q & A while searching for info on Agnes Bluwitt and Richard... I am also a descendent. When this popped up on my 1st response was they may be wrong ! HA. Now I read the prior Q&A....I think there could be a slight possbility, but more reseach before I add him.


February 23, 2010 4:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For ethical reasons I must retract everything I've said in this thread thus far (as EdwardsGranddaughter or whatever name I used). I said a lot of Internetsy bullcrap that I naively thought was valid. Olive Exum is not a proven Plantagenet descendant; on top of that, I can't even prove that she was an Exum. Marmaduke Edwards was indeed the son of a woman named Olive but I can't prove that his father was named John, let alone that Marmaduke's grandfather was really Joseph Edwards of Halifax. But I'm certain thousands of people are quoting my junk around the Internet as fact. Yuck. Away with it.

In the meantime...please, anybody whose tree goes back to Thomas Nathaniel Edwards, Robert Hael Edwards, Elizabeth Hael, and all those other fantasy creatures...check your facts. Check them using nothing but real documents. Leave pseudo-genealogical compilations and amateur homepages alone. Our history has been hideously perverted and I've seen proof of this - chat with me about the actual origins of Joseph Edwards of Halifax, who has been flagrantly cut-n'-pasted as a son of Thomas Nathaniel Edwards and Isabel Downing...alternately as a son of William Edwards and one of the infinite number of wives this man apparently kept in his harem. In brief, his father was another Joseph and his grandfather yet another Joseph, who was a grown man in Maryland by the time Thomas Nathaniel Edwards was supposedly born in Wales (1690).

As for Richard Edwardes: does it not bother any of you that he was supposed to be "the other Shakespeare", and yet NONE of his works exist today? Does it not bother you that he was supposed to be a Renaissance celebrity and yet nobody, absolutely NOBODY in the modern world except his supposed descendants, has heard of him?

And does it not bother you that the only people claiming descent from Richard Edwardes are also claiming descent from the probably-fictitious Manhattan Island characters like Robert Haello Edwards and Thomas Nathaniel Edwards?

That we all have felt connected to royal blood since birth doesn't mean real, honest, painstakingly factual genealogy is below our league.

February 24, 2010 2:32 PM  
Blogger K8 said...

Thank heavens: another genealogist who isn't so wrapped up in royalty hunting that they are willing to accept any lie that backs up their fantastic ancestry. I'm also glad that I'm not the only one lamenting the rashes of woefully under-researched genealogy sites on the internet. I get that it's fun to discover that you're descended from someone famous, but seeking out "proof" while ignoring any facts that don't work with the fantasy is just plain stupid. Worse, it's muddled the issue for everyone. If you insist on having shoddy research practices, at least resist the urge to broadcast your findings.

February 24, 2010 7:28 PM  
Blogger Krystyn said...

My father's cousin made a book for my father and uncles a few years back that ranged from Richard Edwards as the first entry down to me and my 15th generation cousins. She put a lot of notes and random information among the entries, and I find it funny that something I thought was her including a random fact" about Thomas Edwards turns out to be a real controversy: Edwards Millions!
I would love it if anyone who might have genealogy books of their own could contact me and we could collaborate to figure out where our line goes:

Also: Hi fellow Edwards! I'm part of a clan in the NW United States.

February 26, 2010 12:33 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home