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Owen Tudor

Owen (or Owain) Tudor (~1400-1461) was a Welsh soldier and courtier, directly descended from The Lord Rhys but remembered only because of his role in founding the Tudor dynasty and for his relationship with Katherine of Valois, widow of King Henry V of England.

He was assigned to her service after the king's death, when Katherine, being French and therefore distrusted, was removed from court and denied any part in the upbringing of her son, the infant King Henry VI. She and Owen are sometimes said to have been secretly married, though there is no documentary evidence of this. They certainly had at least five children, including Jasper Tudor and Edmund, who would father the future King Henry VII. As a man of advanced years, Owen fought for the Lancastrians at the Battle of Mortimer's Cross, following which he was beheaded along with other prisoners. It is said that he expected a reprieve because of his relationship with the former royal family, and that he did not believe he would die until the collar was ripped off his doublet by the executioner - at which point he is alleged to have said that "the head which used to lie in Queen Katherine's lap, would now lie in the executioner's basket".