Medieval Dispensations

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Vatican By Andreas Tille (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Recently I stumbled across the article ‘English Royal Marriages and the Papal Penitentiary in the Fifteenth Century’ by Peter Clarke. The article was in September 2005 edition of The English Historical Review. One of the many fascinating tidbits the author offers to those interested in the Wars of the Roses is a unique take on the papal dispensations of Margaret of York and Charles, Duke of Burgundy, Prince Edward and Anne Neville, Richard, Duke of Gloucester and Anne Neville, and Henry VII and Elizabeth of York.

According to Clarke, several of the personages involved in the Wars of the Roses did not include their full titles when requesting dispensations. When the original request for a dispensation between Prince Edward and Anne Neville was made, they were described as ‘Edward of England, layman from London diocese and Anne of Warwick, domicella from Salisbury diocese.’ The author says this may have been due to the political sensitivities of the time.

The author has other examples of dispensations from this time period. The article appears to have been well-researched with many sources cited, and I enjoyed reading it. I thought I would share the title for those of you who might be interested in reading it. I’m sorry that I haven’t been posting as often as usual, but I am in the midst of researching and writing The World of the Yorks due out in 2016.