Jangles with Jane: Witches and Queens Volume 1

Witches reside within these castles.

While floating around the castle, I overheard a group of historians discussing queens and witches. “Oooh, finally,” I said to myself. “Whose a witch? Tell me immediately.”

I admit I was snooping around and reading their papers over their shoulders. Being dead has its upside. However, he turned the pages so dreadfully slow.

So what I gathered, is there were queens that were in fact practicing witches. So let’s spill the beans on these wicked and wondrous women. The historians kept referring to a tome called “Royal Witches” by someone named Gemma Hollman. Apparently, four queens were arrested and accused of witchcraft. “Get ready to hear the juiciest jangles you’ve ever heard.”

Let’s get into it, shall we?

well, Picture it, England 15th Century.

The political climate is abuzz with fear, and women are on edge. There were witches everywhere, well according to people in power. They want queens to conduct themselves as queens, yet they accuse them of witchcraft when they do. Typical really.

So Joan of Navarre, Eleanor Cobham, Jacquetta of Luxembourg, and even Elizabeth Woodville, the woman at the heart of the War of the Roses were all accused of witchcraft.

Let’s look at them as individuals.  

Joan of Navarre was the wife of Henry IV. Shortly after his death in 1419, she was arrested for witchcraft. The accusations were based solely on the fact that she was the Queen Mother to the new king, Henry V. Suddenly found herself in a position where she was no longer respected. She was an obstacle to getting to the new king and sharing her views. They had to get the boy away from his mother, who held influence over him. She was imprisoned for several years but got released when she was no longer a threat to those who advised the king. But was she a witch? 

Eleanor Cobham, the most likely innocent wife of Humphrey the Duke of Gloucester. Humphrey fell out of favor with the king and we all know how that goes. This probably won’t make sense to any of you because I’m knackered trying to justify any of this. In the year of our Lord, 1441, a witch by the name of Margery Jourdemayne claimed that Eleanor had tried to kill the king. But did she, really? Again, a queen was imprisoned. Are we seeing a trend here?

Jaquetta of Luxembourg, Elizabeth Woodville’s mother, was accused of witchcraft in 1459 after her son-in-law, Edward IV, was deposed. The testimony of a witch named Joan Waterden sent her to prison for several months. Joan claimed that Jaquette used unnatural means to help Edward claim the throne. The question I have is, how come the witches accusing other witches of being witches didn’t end up in prison themselves?

Elizabeth Woodville, Edward IV’s wife, was also accused of being a witch in 1485 after her husband was killed in battle. A witch (no surprise here) named Alice Kyteler claimed that Elizabeth had tried to kill her husband. Elizabeth was never imprisoned, but was forced to flee the country after the Battle of Bosworth. She was the Yorkist (the white part) of the Tudor Rose.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Stay tuned, as we go more in-depth on these incredible women.

If you want to learn the facts behind these jangles. Check out the sources down below. After all, gossip is usually based on facts, a misinterpretation or embellishmentfacts,he facts but they are facts, nonetheless.

  • Royal Witches by Gemma Hollman
  • The Folklore Podcast episode on Royal Witches
  • The History Press website on Royal Witches

Stay tuned for more about these Witchy Queens

Jane, The Lady Rochford.

Share this post