Can anyone suggest historical sources I may use to find out about Elizabeth Bedelgate/Bedlisgate who was the mother of Richard Woodville/Wydeville, 1st Earl Rivers?

I can find some basic facts on other people's family trees but there are no source references and I am always cautious about using family trees which are not backed up by fact.


2 Answers 2


When you have someone of this kind (Dukes, Duchesses. Earls, Knights....) in your tree then the books Burke’s Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage and Dictionary of National Biography are good places to start. They are expensive but you will quite often find a copy in the reference section of your local main library. Burke's Peerage have a searchable website at this address where you can do a free search but you have to subscribe to view the pages found.

There is another site which is totally free though which may help and that is http://www.thepeerage.com/ The site is not linked at all to Burke's Peerage but this website is

the result of around fourteen years of work by one (somewhat eccentric) person collecting information on the European royal families and on the British Peerage, and then entering it into a range of various genealogy programs

The front page of the wbsite does point out that this site is very much still a work in progress, and is bound to have a more than a few errors. You need to pay attention to any citations given when evaluating the quality and accuracy of this data.

For example, a search for Richard Wydeville comes up with

Richard Wydevill, 1st Earl Rivers

M, #102911, b. circa 1405, d. 12 August 1469

Richard Wydevill, 1st Earl Rivers was born circa 1405.2 He was the son of Richard Wydevill and Joan Bedlisgate. He married Jacquetta de Luxembourg, daughter of Pierre I de Luxembourg, Comte de St. Pol, Brienne et Conservan and Margherita del Balzo, between 16 September 1435 and 23 March 1436.2 He died on 12 August 1469 executed.2
He was also known as Richard Woodville.3 He gained the title of 1st Earl Rivers in 1466.

Children of Richard Wydevill, 1st Earl Rivers and Jacquetta de Luxembourg

  • Sir Edward Woodville2 d. 1488
  • Richard Woodville, 3rd Earl Rivers2 d. 1491
  • Thomas Woodville4
  • John Woodville4
  • Lewis Woodville4
  • Eleanor Woodville4
  • Martha Woodville4
  • Elizabeth Wydevill+ b. c 1437, d. 8 Jun 1492
  • Lady Anne Woodville+5 b. c 1438, d. 30 Jul 1489
  • Margaret Woodville+2 b. c 1439, d. b 6 Mar 1490/91
  • Anthony Woodville, 2nd Earl Rivers+2 b. bt 1440 - 1442, d. 26 Jun 1483
  • Katherine Woodville+6 b. c 1442, d. b 1513
  • Mary Wydeville+2 b. c 1443, d. b 1481
  • Sir John Woodville7 b. c 1445, d. 12 Aug 1469
  • Jacquetta Woodville+2 b. 1444/45, d. 1509
  • Lionel Woodville2 b. c 1446, d. 1484


  1. [S6] G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume XII/2, page 910. Hereinafter cited as The Complete Peerage.
  2. [S11] Alison Weir, Britain's Royal Families: The Complete Genealogy (London, U.K.: The Bodley Head, 1999), page 124. Hereinafter cited as Britain's Royal Families.
  3. [S11] Alison Weir, Britain's Royal Families, page 138.
  4. [S11] Alison Weir, Britain's Royal Families, page 125.
  5. [S11] Alison Weir, Britain's Royal Families, page 111.
  6. [S11] Alison Weir, Britain's Royal Families, page 105.
  7. [S11] Alison Weir, Britain's Royal Families, page 108.

Each name in this record is clickable taking you that individual, many with pictures of them, and this searching comes up with more sources of information through the citations.

Where there is a + next to a child, that means they had children themselves.


A search of Google Books can yield fantastic results.

Richard de Wydeville married Elizabeth, daughter of John Beldelgate and Mary nee Beauchamp:

enter image description here

In the preface of the book cited above, the author, Sir Bernard Burke, describes his source material as follows:

Burke-preface page ix

  • @PolyGeo I am reading this passage to say that Richard married Elizabeth, the daughter of John Bedelgate and his wife Mary (who was herself the daughter of William Beauchamp....). In other words, the text which is in the link description does not match what is in the image snippet above. Also, the word 'marriage' is misspelled. Am I wrong?
    – Jan Murphy
    May 15, 2015 at 2:55
  • @JanMurphy I've now matched the link description to its content. However, it seems to me that it does not say who the mother of Richard Woodville/Wydeville was (i.e. it appears not to answer the question).
    – PolyGeo
    May 15, 2015 at 3:06
  • @PolyGeo It says plainly who the mother of the 1st Earl was -- the listing is for the Earl's father en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sir_Richard_Wydeville (1385–1441) "The couple had at least two children, Sir Richard Woodville, 1st Earl Rivers (1408–1469), and Joan Woodville (1409–1462), wife of Sir William Haute (MP)." The book cited is an authored work published 1866 so it is not a primary source nor contemporary with the people described, but it is closer in time to the people described by 150 years than the present day. So where did the author get the information?
    – Jan Murphy
    May 15, 2015 at 21:14
  • @PolyGeo Is the second passage from the book, which I've added as an update to the answer, sufficient to answer the question "Can anyone suggest historical sources I may use?" We don't know which sources were used but it does list the type of sources that were consulted for the creation of the book.
    – Jan Murphy
    May 15, 2015 at 21:41
  • Thanks @JanMurphy I think it is now an answer far better than the original which was link-only. Feel free to clean up the comments on this one. I have not, in case there is anything else you want to copy from them into the answer.
    – PolyGeo
    May 16, 2015 at 0:07

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