Unsourced adulterous adventure by Queen of England's sister?

+7 votes
What do people more knowledgeable than me think of this unsourced profile? Should it stand as an adulterous adventure of Margaret Woodville, despite the absence of any evidence, or should it perhaps be unlinked? If so, since the profile manager has added nothing since 2013, who will do so?


PS According to the Complete Peerage at https://archive.org/stream/completepeerageo01coka#page/250/mode/1up, Margaret had married Thomas FitzAlan in October 1464 and was still married to him at her death.
WikiTree profile: Charles Churchill
in Genealogy Help by Living Flower G2G6 Mach 1 (12.2k points)

3 Answers

+7 votes
You are saying that this marriage never took place.

I think if you look at the profile of Thomas Churchill, linked to the profile of Charles, you will see that this issue has been discussed.
by Lois Tilton G2G6 Pilot (147k points)

“Discussed”, as in nothing done about it? Margaret Woodville married Thomas FitzAlan in October 1464 and she died as his wife not long before 4 August 1492. For the unsourced (imaginary?) Charles Churchill to have been her first husband, the marriage must have been dissolved by the Roman Catholic church before October 1464. Can anybody explain how his alleged son Thomas Churchill, born posthumously in 1475, could then have been the lawful child of Margaret Woodville? If not, shouldn't he be unlinked?

Because there is  no consensus see : .https://www.wikitree.com/g2g/880583/help-with-profile-pre-1500

As you can see, I added the disputed origins section. 

+6 votes

On Charles Churchill's son Thomas' page it says (truncated):

"Charles Churchill, Esq; ...by his Majesty's interest obtained in marriage, Margaret, daughter and heir of Sir William Widville. By that Lady, who was a near relation of Edward's Queen, he left [this] Thomas Churchill, Esq; his heir, who, by his wife Grace, daughter and coheir of Thomas Tylle, of Tylle-house in Cornwall, Esq; was father of William Churchill, Esq; who espoused Mary, eldest daughter of Richard Creuse, of Wycroft Castle in Devonshire, Esq; and by her had three sons, Roger Churchill, his heir; William, who was of Corton in Devonshire; and John Churchill, Esq"

citing: The Peerage of England by Arthur Collins, Vol. 1, page 336

Thus, parts of this writing by Collins applies to both Charles and at least Thomas's grandmother.

Also, (of less repute in terms of the quality of the source) says virtually the same: Burke's Genealogical & Heraldic History of Peerage & Baronetage, 40th. edition, 1878, Index MAR.

by Porter Fann G2G6 Mach 6 (63.9k points)

At last we are getting closer to the answer! If Collins is to be believed, the wife of Charles Churchill was Margaret Woodville, daughter of a William Woodville and a relation of Elizabeth Woodville, queen consort of England.

Why do the learned members of WikiTree instead insist that Charles, if he existed, married Margaret Woodville, daughter of Richard Woodville and sister of the queen Elizabeth? Why is this misleading claim, accusing her of adultery, allowed to stay up on the site?

Yes, you are right, even the  dubious Lediard pedigree which is the one from which Collins and Burke take their info  (though the Collins editor does express doubt) doesn't link Charles with this Margaret Wydville 

"This Charles Churchill was engaged b y _______  Courtney, Earl of Devonshire, in the Cause of King Edward IV And, when Thomas Courtney, Earl of Devonshire, fortook the interests his Father had espoused, continuing faithful, that Prince took him into his Favour, and advanced his Fortune, by procuring him, in Marriage, Margaret, only Daughter and Heiress of Sir William Widville, who  brought him a considerable Estate

By this Margaret, Charles Churchill had Issue, Thomas Churchill, esq." (p 5)

I think the whole thing is a vanity geneaolgy and was  trying to sort out an unholy mess of 16th C Churchills.( which I'm not sure it's accomplished yet) and was more concerned with getting that bit right.  I was looking at the 'son', Thomas  and  hadn't noticed that the problems were compounded by the wrong mother. 

I agree that Charles should be unlinked  from this Margaret Wydville. I'd like him and his son  marked fictitious  but as I said, there was no consensus. I'll make a proposal on the comments section of the profile. I doubt there will be any response from the PM, there rarely is.

I've removed the profile of Margaret Wydeville as the wife of Charles Churchill, and mother of Thomas Churchill and I agree they should be marked as 'uncertain'

I'll alert the England project to this issue, it is probably something they should get involved in.
The England Project is alerted
+5 votes
I agree this must have been some kind of vanity project to Duke-ify the Churchill family. Our modern (and American) sensibilities clash with early modern English society 'status' component.  

I sent a request to the PMs to add me - we'll see what happens in a few days & one way or the other we'll sort this out.
by Kirk Hess G2G6 Mach 6 (64.7k points)
Oh I don't know, America seems to be half way to having a new class system.
I've removed Margaret Wydeville as the wife of Charles Churchill and mother of Thomas Churchill.

19th century and early 20th century American sensibilities about status in society were very different from now.  That seems to be the period when there were many wealthy American women marrying into European noble families.  

Also that period is where many of the genealogies arose, that have since been proven to be false, where American emigrants were linked back to mostly English noble families based solely on similar name and basic correct time frame.

Many thanks to all who have responded, freeing Wydeville-5 from a fake spouse and mythical child. The Churchill tree obviously needs more pruning to detach imaginary people. But could I put in a plea for some attention to Margaret's profile? Citing only one online source, which is pretty reliable in this case, the rest of the given sources are of little or no value and it is populated with dates and places for which I can find no evidence.

Stanley, this is just one of thousands of early profiles, many of people of some importance, that need this sort of attention. The number of WikiTree members with the skills and experience to sort them out is relatively limited. If someone with the pre-1500 badge has the inclination to improve this profile now, great. But I am afraid that, as a general proposition, it has to be accepted that early profiles in an unsatisfactory state have to wait until a pre-1500-qualified person is able to turn to them.

The problem largely stems from old GEDCOM imports before WikiTree stopped the import of information from GEDCOMs for early profiles. There is a huge legacy of resulting problems.

So you may well need to be patient. As a Leader of the Medieval Project, I do not regard this profile as a priority,

Thanks for your comments, Michael. Given the size of the problem, I was wondering if it would perhaps be possible to have some kind of sticker to put on pre-1500 profiles of dubious or no credibility, warning people not to rely on the information until it has been vetted by someone qualified? Could there also be a second sticker to say that on a given date the profile was approved by a qualified person? And surely there must be ways of improving the number and quality of qualified persons, for example by a training programme like the Tartan Trail?

There has been an England Project Orphan Trail for some time, and it has recently been revamped. The final part of this  specifically focuses on preparing people to work on pre-1500 English profiles. This final part is by invitation only because

  • There are few people willing and available to "train" people for this level of work. By definition they need to have strong skills for medieval English research themselves.
  • Those few are also needed to help improve medieval profiles. And they have their own genealogical interests and a life outside WikiTree.
  • This stage of the Orphan Trail is inevitably very demanding and we need to be sure participants have developed sufficient skills to be able to have a good chance of succeeding.

The Magna Carta Project has also recently restructured in a way which helps people build up the experience to prepare them to apply for the pre-1500 badge.

This is going well off topic. If you want to discuss this further in G2G you should start a new topic.

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