Who’s Who in the Wars of the Roses: Jasper Tudor


Born in November of 1431, Jasper Tudor was the son of a queen, and played one of the most intriguing behind-the-scenes roles in the Wars of the Roses… one that eventually led to the 30-plus year war’s conclusion at the infamous Battle of Bosworth Field. But before he became a political mastermind, manipulator, and spy on behalf of his nephew, Henry Tudor, he was a secret child of an illicit and scandalous love affair that would eventually change the entire monarchy of England and bring about the beginning of the Tudor dynasty of English monarchs.
Jasper’s story really begins before his birth, during the Hundred Years’ War between England and France. King Henry V was on the throne, with his young French queen, Katherine of Valois, by his side. They had one son together, also named Henry. Henry V was considered England’s last great warrior king, and plenty of future kings tried to emulate him (most notably his distant cousin and later king, Henry VIII), but none came close to his success at making war and fighting on the battlefield. Henry V wasn’t immune to the other hazards of the times, though, and died of dysentery on the battlefield at only 35 years old, leaving his 21-year-old queen a widow, and their nine-month-old son the new King Henry VI...