Tournament celebrating the marriage of Anne Mowbray and Richard of Shrewsbury

On 22 January 1478 a tournament including jousting concluded the festivities to mark the marriage of Richard, Duke of York to Anne Mowbray.

Marriage of Anne Mowbray and Prince Richard, duke of York

Though the groom was just 4 years old and his bride a year older, this did not stop a grand celebration of the marriage. The marriage was of the Kings second oldest son, Prince Richard to Anne Mowbray, sole heiress of the Duchy of Norfolk. It recognised Norfolk’s close ties with the House of York and gave both bride and groom a sizeable and significant landholding.

Celebratory Tournament

The wedding ceremony itself had taken place a week before on 15th. The finale of the celebrations was a jousting contest. Jousting for the prize of elaborately embroidered letters which were to be presented by Princess Elizabeth of York.
Jousts and Tournaments were regularly used to mark special occasions or as part of diplomatic visits. They demonstrated strength, chivalry, friendship. Such events could be a place where negotiations were made. They also reinforced the image of a strong, powerful and just monarchy.

Tournament participants

The best known of the contestants included the Marquis of Dorset, Earl Rivers, Edward Woodville and Richard Grey. These men entered in pomp and ceremony, with several horses each.

George duke of Clarence

What is perhaps most remarkable is not who was present at this large family celebration but who was not. George, the Duke of Clarence, was imprisoned in the Tower of London as the festivities took place. Read more about the trial and execution of George duke of Clarence. 

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