interesting information about famous Medieval Women, specifically a
short biography of
Jane Shore and her Medieval Life and Times
Famous as the beautiful mistress of King Edward IV of England
Medieval Times encompass one of the most exciting periods in the History of England and Europe. The names of many famous Medieval women scatter the Medieval History books and other historical documents -
they were mostly queens and princesses.
But what about the women who were not of noble birth? Who were these
Medieval women who became famous despite the dominance of men during
this era? The following biography, short history and interesting facts provide helpful information for history courses and history coursework about the key dates and events in the life of Jane Shore
who was famous as the beautiful mistress of King Edward IV of England.
Short Biography about the life of Jane Shore
The following biography, short history and interesting facts provide helpful information for history courses and history coursework about the life and history of Jane Shore a famous Medieval character of historical importance who lived during the Middle Ages:
Country of Origin / Nationality:
Also Known as:
Lifetime: 1445 -
She was born in London in 1445
connections : She was the the daughter of a prosperous
merchant named John Lambert and his wife Amy
Lambert married a goldsmith called Lambert Shore. The
marriage was annulled due to his impotence.
Childhood, early life and education: Jane Shore was literate and therefore received a
Jane Shore: Jane was described by her lover,
King Edward IV as " Merry
in company, ready and quick of answer.". She was witty,
literate, cheerful, intelligent and warmhearted.
Jane Shore died in 1527 and was buried in Hinxworth Church,
Why Jane Shore was famous:
Jane Shore became the mistress of King Edward IV during the
period in England referred to as the
Wars of the Roses.
After the king's death she became the
mistress of Thomas Grey,
1st Marquess of Dorset and then Lord Hastings. When King
Richard III came to the throne Jane Shore was accused of
Sorcery and Witchcraft and forced to make a humiliating and
public penance as a harlot.
The story and biography of Jane Shore which contains interesting information,
facts & the history about the life of this Medieval woman of
historical importance. Jane Shore was born as Elizabeth Shore. She was
born in London and was the daughter of a wealthy merchant called John
Lambert. Jane was a lovely child who grew into a beautiful woman. When
she was still young her father arranged a marriage for Jane to a
goldsmith named William Shore. It is believed that William Shore was
impotent and the marriage was eventually annulled on these grounds in
1476. According to Sir Thomas More, in his History of Richard III, she
was married "ere she were well ripe" to a merchant "an honest citizen,
young and godly and of good substance", named William Shore, but "she
not very fervently loved" her husband who was "frigid and impotent". The
marriage was over, long before 1476.
Jane Shore becomes
the Mistress of King Edward IV
Her beauty brought much attention in
London and the notorious womaniser King Edward IV arranged to meet Jane
Shore. Her marriage was over and Jane fell in love with the handsome
King and became his mistress. Jane Shore was the mistress of the king by
1476. An entry on the Patent Rolls for December 4, 1476 bestowed the
King's protection upon "William Shore, citizen of London, and his
servants, with all his lands, goods and possessions in England and
elsewhere". The marriage annulment followed shortly after this date.
Despite his womanising King Edward maintained his relationship with Jane
Shore until his death in 1483. Jane was described by her lover, King
Edward IV as " Merry in company, ready and quick of answer". Jane and
King Edward were lovers during the period in English history called the
Wars of the Roses. The wife of King Edward,
accepted Jane Shore as her husband's mistress. It is possible that the
change of name from Elizabeth to Jane was made in deference to the
Queen. Jane Shore was a highly visible member of the court of King
Edward. She would have mixed with all the important people of the era
and friends of the King.
Jane Shore sent to
the Tower accused of Sorcery and Witchcraft
Following the death of King Edward
she briefly became the mistress of Thomas Grey, 1st Marquess of Dorset (
who was the son of Elizabeth Woodville by a previous marriage). Jane
Shore then came under the protection of Lord Hastings and became his
mistress. King Edward had left two small sons, Edward and Richard. The
young Edward was the heir to the throne of England - Edward V. The brother of the dead King was
Richard adopted the title of Lord Protector. The young princes were
however in the care of Lord Hastings. Without warning the two princes
were declared illegitimate and Richard was proclaimed King Richard III.
The political fallout led to the arrest of the supporters of the dead
King Edward and his children. Jane Shore and Lord Hastings were arrested
and sent to the Tower. Lord Hastings was executed on the charge of
treason on 18 June 1483. Jane Shore was accused of having entered into a
conspiracy the Queen and Lord Hastings against Richard. Richard accused
the Queen and Jane Shore of Sorcery and Witchcraft. It was declared that
“Edward's wife, that monstrous witch, has plotted with Jane Shore to
waste and wither his body.”
The Penance of Jane Shore
The accusations against Jane Shore
were reduced to being a harlot - they could not prove the charge of
sorcery and witchcraft. The Bishop of London sentenced her to the
traditional public penance for harlotry at St. Paul’s Cathedral. Jane,
dressed in only her kirtle (petticoat) and in an unkempt state had to
walk barefoot along the sharp flint stones of London. She carried a
taper and walked in front of the cross and a choir singing psalms. Jane
Shore was watched and surrounded by great ogling crowds. She bore this
punishment with great dignity.
Imprisonment of Jane Shore
Following her public penance Jane Shore was incarcerated at Ludgate
prison for her crime. Her great beauty attracted the king's solicitor,
Thomas Lynom. Thomas Lynom entered into a contract of marriage with Jane
Shore whilst she was still a prisoner in Ludgate. King Richard III
pardoned Jane Shore, apparently at the request of William Lynom.
The Death of Jane Shore
Some say that Jane Shore died in
poverty however, this is highly improbable. She was married to a wealthy
man. And Sir Thomas More, who knew Jane Shore at the end of her long
life, described her as ‘a soft, tender heart’. ‘Yet,' he continued, 'me
delighted not so much in her beauty as in her pleasant behaviour’. Jane
Shore died in 1527 at the age of eighty two. What a life Jane Shore had
led. Jane Shore was buried in Hinxworth Church, Hertfordshire, England.
Famous Women of the Middle Ages
- Jane Shore
Interesting facts and information with a short biography about the Medieval Life, Times and history of Jane Shore.
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