Battle of Bosworth: King Richard III and Henry Tudor die. Would Lincoln declare for Warwick?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Harriamelia, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. Harriamelia Well-Known Member

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    Quick Question:

    If at the Battle of Bosworth in August 1485, both King Richard III and Henry Tudor were killed, would John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln, declare himself King or back his younger cousin, Edward, 17th Earl of Warwick?

    Some Background: Lincoln’s claim was through the female line, his mother being the sister of King Richard, whilst Warwicks was through the male line, his father being the older brother of King Richard. Warwick’s claim is tarnished slightly because of an act of attainder against his father. Lincoln was rumoured to be the appointed successor to his uncle, Richard, however, nothing was ever concrete and Richard left no will or instructions in the event of his death. It may seem straight forward in assuming that Lincoln would declare himself King, however, he lead a major rebellion during Henry VII’s reign to restore the house of York and put Warwick on the throne. Historians are split over whether he intended to take the throne of himself or not if successful. I am also unsure about his endgame, but, when reading about Lincoln I never got the impression that he was very ambitious.


    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Derek Pullem Butterfly Killer

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    Technically he was going to put Lambert Simnel on the throne - but the point is well made that he could have put his claim forward instead. With both protagonists dead on the field then it kind of depends who wins.

    Let's say the battle went as per OTL albeit with Henry Tudor's death. There is a scattered Lancastrian Army, a leaderless Tudor Yorkist army and the Stanleys. Stanley is the Constable of the England and therefore has charge of anyone imprisoned in the Tower of London. Absent any other credible Lancastrian claimant, either the Princes are revealed (very unlikely) or Edward, 17th Earl Warwick is released as the Stanley's proxy. I imagine John de la Pole will contest this but I'm backing the Stanleys.
     
  3. Harriamelia Well-Known Member

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    Warwick was not in the Tower, he was with John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln, at Sheriff Hutton in Yorkshire with the York Princesses and Richard III's bastard son, John of Gloucester. So the Stanley's do not have custody of him. Of corse, it all depends on at what point the battle ends and who survives but if the Stanley's have already declared for Tudor and then Tudor dies, they are now enemies of the Yorkist camp. Any surviving Yorkists are not going to let them near Warwick, as they have now committed treason. Since there is no longer a clear Lancastrian leader to take the crown then it is unclear what the play of the Lancastrians will be. I think if the Stanley's try and make a power play then they will be unbelievably unpopular (look at what happened to Northumberland who didn't show up for King Richard). I think it might come down to Parliament, if they are willing to reverse the attainder against Warwick, which I am sure they would if Lincoln told them to. It just depends on if he would or take the throne for himself.

    Oh, and Lambert Simnel was pretending to be Warwick. They pretended they had broken Warwick out of the Tower (which they hadn't) and used Lambert Simnel, who looked like Warwick, to lead the Yorkist rebellion. So no one knew it was Lambert Simnel. The goal of the rebellion was to put Warwick on the throne. So, Lincoln did not support Simnel, he supported Warwick.
     
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  4. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

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    I have a feeling that Lincoln night see how the wind is blowing and then if he thinks it’s right put Warwick in the throne
     
  5. Ivan Lupo Well-Known Member

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    Wouldn't Elizabeth of York have a pretty good claim of her own? At the very least, I imagine if someone else got the crown, Elizabeth's hand in marriage would still be of great importance to add further legitimacy to the new dynasty, very much like what Henry Tudor did in OTL.
     
  6. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

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    I think her hand in marriage would be the big prize
     
  7. Ivan Lupo Well-Known Member

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    Hypothetically though, were Elizabeth actually being considered for the throne in her own right, she would have the strongest claim in her own right, correct? I have to imagine that after decades worth of civil war and generations of princes and noblemen gave their lives for what turned out to be a pretty pointless war in TTL, that the survivors probably won't feel great about letting a women succeed to the throne, especially if she marries someone from another faction entirely.
     
  8. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

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    She would yes, and agreed. Hence why I think she'd be highly valued as a marriage prize
     
  9. Harriamelia Well-Known Member

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    I don't think Elizabeth of York would be a contender to the throne, no. The problem with EoY/Warwick is the 9 year age difference. Lincoln would be a better marriage option, but he is already married to EoY's cousin, Margaret FitzAlan. I think he may be able to have the marriage annulled if he wanted because I think she was only young and its probable that they hadn't yet consummated the marriage.

    However, the more I think on it the more I am leaning towards Lincoln backing Warwick for the throne.

    Elizabeth Woodville would do whatever it took to have her children on the throne, so she would most likely be an issue.
     
  10. Harriamelia Well-Known Member

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    If Warwick did become King, I can see him marrying a foreign Princess because England really only has one alliance with the Yorkists on the throne, which is Burgundy, and that will disappear the moment Margaret of York dies.

    The reason Henry Tudor married EoY was to appease the Yorkists who backed him against Richard III and to improve his claim (which was awfully weak). In this scenario Warwick would not have the same issue to the extent that Tudor did. There is the attainder against him, but if reversed by Parliament this becomes a none-issue. I can understand them (being a regency council or Lincoln during Warwick's minority) preferring a forgein match in the long run. The same way that the Arthur Tudor/Catherine of Aragon marriage was seen as the Tudors' being legitimised by Spain and Europe and recognised as the rightful rulers of England.

    At this time EoY's claim as Queen Regnant was not recognised at all, her claim can only be used to bolster that of her husband. But even then, following her marriage to Tudor, many people still recognised Warwick as the rightful heir (specifically the peasants). So whilst her husband and any future children may cause trouble, it's unlikely anyone is going to see them as legitimate candidates to the throne over Warwick.

    EoY's claim becomes dangerous if Lincoln takes the throne, as then both himself and her children have the exact same claim to the throne; through the female line.

    So, King Warwick should marry a forgein princess, King Lincoln should marry Elizabeth of York.

    I can see Margaret of York, Duchess of Burgundy, pushing for a match between her step-granddaughter and namesake, Margaret of Austria, and Warwick.
     
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  11. Fiver Curmudgeon

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    If both Richard III and Henry Tudor are dead, it probably means Richard's charge at Bosworth reached Henry, who is cut down by Richard or one of his retainers, before Richard is cut down by some of Henry's supporters. This means that Stanley delayed a little longer than in OTL, planning on rushing to the aid of the victors, and so hasn't clearly betrayed Richard. Since the other army's entire claim rested on Henry, his army flees. The Stanleys would make a show of mourning Richard, knowing that John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln has control of all major Yorkist claimants. LIke in OTL, I'd expect Lincoln to support Warwick as king, unless someone credible appears claiming to Edward V or Richard of Shrewsbury. Lincoln, the new Kingmaker, would probably serve as regent until Warwick comes of age. Like Richard III attempted in OTL, I'd expect Elizabeth of York to be married off to a foreign prince and her sisters married off to loyal, but minor Yorkist supporters.
     
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  12. Tyler96 Well-Known Member

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    Really depends how you read his actions IOTL regarding the whole Simnel episode- why he chose to put forth a fake Warwick rather than claiming the throne in his own right etc.
     
  13. Mikestone8 Well-Known Member

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    Would he be?

    Afaik he had no retainers of his own - he was the son of the Duke of Suffolk, who was still very much alive, and iirc his Earldom was just a courtesy title. His possession of Warwick and the girls would be a bargaining chip of sorts, but he wouldn't have the necessary force to hold on to them, so couldn't keep them long unless he fled the country with them.
     
  14. Mikestone8 Well-Known Member

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    With Richard III and son both dead, Warwick was now the sole heir of his grandfather the "Kingmaker". So it was hoped that the latter's former tenants and retainers would rally to him. This made him the "pretender of choice" for Yotkist rebels.
     
  15. Tyler96 Well-Known Member

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    So, would similar considerations prevail in this scenario, or... ?
     
  16. Mikestone8 Well-Known Member

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    Maybe not at once, but if anyone else (even another Yorkist) was made King, he would probably face plots and/or rebellions in support of Warwick
     
  17. Derek Pullem Butterfly Killer

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    Does he even have possession in this scenario? De la Pole should be at Bosworth and is currently scattered to the winds.

    I still think the Stanleys will be important but the other formed body of troops who could make a difference after the battle would be the Percys who didn't play a big role in the battle. Could be a race for possession of Edward and the other "guests" at Sheriff Hutton. Anyone holding Edward has the upper hand in whatever comes next - de la Pole could align with the loser of the race but equally the Percys and the Stanleys could come to an agreement.

    Whatever happens England will continue to have an unstable monarchy
     
  18. Mikestone8 Well-Known Member

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    And whoever takes command of the Tudor army after Henry's death. Most likely either Jasper Tudor or the Earl of Oxford, but I'm a bit vague about their chain of command.
     
  19. Derek Pullem Butterfly Killer

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    Trouble with Henry's (victorious?) army is that it is now devoid of any purpose. So whoever takes charge they either have to cross to the Yorkist claimant or dissolve. The fence-sitters of Stanley and Percy are much less conflicted.
     
  20. Old1812 Reactionary Monarchist Twit

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    I feel Warwick's mental state would be pretty important here. If Warwick truly is mentally handicapped, and Lincoln is right there to see it for himself, it seems he would be less likely to declare for him.