Thursday, May 29, 2008

Question from Tabitha - Henry VII's illegitimate son

read somewhere ??? that Henry VII had an illegitimate son, and that he brought the young man along with him when he became king. He was treated like a son but did not acknowledge him legally.

Is there anything that can validate this?

15 comments:

Lara said...

Hey, this is one I've actually done some research on! The person you're referring to is Roland de Veleville. I've come across some books (often royal genealogies) that either list him as a possible royal bastard or just flat-out state that he was a son of Henry VII. And of course, there are some personal family histories out there of Roland's descendants who claim Henry VII was his father, but without any hard evidence, those claims have to be suspect.

Henry VII's main biographer of the 20th century - S.B. Chrimes, didn't think there was any good evidence for it. I found a much more detailed evaluation of de Veleville's connections to the Tudors in an 1991 article in Welsh History Review, and while the author thinks that his Tudor connections have been underestimated in the past, he didn't find any good evidence that Roland was actually Henry's son. The story seems to have first been recorded about 100 years after Roland's death (although presumably that would have meant that the story was around before that).

It's an interesting question, and while there isn't any good evidence one way or the other, I tend to think that he was not Henry's son.

Foose said...

This is very interesting, Lara! I had not read about this before. Roland got (only) 40 marks out of Henry VII, which some historians think indicate that he wasn't his son, but other observers, citing Henry's notorious cheapness, think it's obvious evidence of a blood relationship!

But seriously, Henry VII's parsimony seems to have grown upon him in later years, so perhaps there's nothing in it. Still, it's a fascinating speculation.

Monica said...

If you look at the Discussion page on Henry VII's Wikipedia article, it gives details of the evidence for Roland being Henry's son. It isn't in the main article because it's not generally accepted by historians. It does give detailed references though.

hrlh said...

Roland de Velville was definitely Henry VII's son, it says so in my family history - otherwise i would not exist as the person i am today! And yes, i am also Welsh. The family tree itself goes back to Kathryn Of Berain, and back to Roland de Velville, wich then is connected to King Henry VII.
Of course we do not have hard evidence, as no one who was around then is still here today, but the family tree is a very large and strong one, showing many many people still connected to it.

Pearson said...

According to my family tree I am a great grandson of Roland de Velville and therefore supposedly of King Henry viii. This doesn't mean it's true and accurate. Surely in today's world a DNA test would resolve this question.

Mary the Quene said...

I get the feeling Henry VII's parsimonious nature meant he counted everything.
I doubt he'd have 'wasted' a single (sorry to be graphic) emission on anyone other than his wife.

:-)

Amanda Furgeson-Ponce said...

My name is Amanda F. Furgeson-Ponce I have completed my DNA test for Ancestry.com - I am excited to know that Roland De Velville born 1474–1535 is my 15th Great-Grandfather; and King Henry VII's 16th Great-Granddaughter. I would love to learn so much more about my extended family - I would love to meet and share comments to those who are also related to these wonderful people in History!

Dain and Alyse said...

I have ancestry that goes back to Henry VII as my 14th great grandpa. And Roland as the 13th. It is well documented and accepted by most that have looked into it. So I will claim royalty (without the royalties) until proven otherwise.

Dain and Alyse said...

I would be right there with you. I am through the cloughs then cluff (after they changed the spelling). And directly from Henry vii and Roland. So we are somehow related. We are located in Utah.

Joshua Havens said...

King Henry vii,and Roland de veleville are my grandfather's and Katherineof Berain my grandmother. I was able to follow marriage/birth/death records that lead to King Henry vii. What does this mean for me? Should I move to Great Britain and become a noble of some sort?

Amanda Furgeson-Ponce said...

I wish I could find out who my Great Grandmother - Mother of Roland De Velville was... I feel like a huge part of my family tree will forever be empty without knowing her and where she came from... Any advice on where we should start looking??? :)

Amy Provstgaard said...

Amanda, how did your DNA test confirm your lineage with Henry the VII? I, too, am a descendant from what I have figured out.

Unknown said...

My mums relative has done our family tree and paid a fortune doing so and we are desendent's from king Henry 7th. He had a iligitamate child and we are decendents from the child through my grandads side his surname was Hughes.

Anonymous said...

Hi All,
I am glad that there is interest in Roland. I am sorry if you are disappointed, but he was definitely not Henry's son. His date of birth is also about 10 years out. Neither was he illegitimate. I can identify all the families in his coat of arms. The name is a translation of a Breton name Cosquer or Cozkaer. A Roland le Cosquer appears at a muster of nobles in Treguier in 1481. The family castle is Rosanbo, which is built around a statue of the boar in his coat of arms. It is a distinguished family and his coat of arms indicates descent from the Viscounts of Leon and ancient kings of Brittany.

bobby said...

There is no dna available that would prove descent from Henry VII