If Perkin Warbeck takes the throne, what becomes of his "nephews"

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by WillVictoria, May 9, 2018.

  1. WillVictoria Hasn't happened yet though

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    Perkin Warbeck attempted to claim the throne by claiming to be Richard, Duke of York, during the reign of Henry VII. Many believed Warbeck most notably, I believe, Richard's aunt the Duchess of Burgundy. If he had claimed the throne, typical 15th century logic dictates he'd remove all potential claimants to the throne, which at this time was mainly Henry VII's two sons, Arthur and Henry (the future Henry VIII).

    However, given the princes in the tower debacle, would Warbeck be weary of disposing of his "nephews" and risk courting a Richard III-esque controversy? Personally, I think the best compromise is to say both boys are repenting for their father's wicked usurpation by joining the church, but that presumes that a) the boys don't escape with their mother/grandmother somewhere, and b) Warbeck can afford to keep them alive.

    So if Warbeck claims the throne, what do you think is the fate of young Arthur and Henry Tudor?
     
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  2. Mike Stearns Member

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    Here’s an interesting question. What if Perkin Warbeck successfully sits the throne and then is revealed to be a usurper.
     
  3. Tyler96 Well-Known Member

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    Much depends on Perkin's personality/approach to politics, but you're right that cold dynastic logic says that the boys should be disposed of (and then, in 10 years time, Perkin can be deposed by an impostor claiming to be Arthur. Cyclical history at it finest!). Especially given Perkin's questionable legitimacy.

    I'm not sure how secure a stuffing them in the church arrangement would be.

    The time at which Perkin takes the throne (and consequently the age of the boys) could also play a role.

    Could some sort of deal been cut wherein Elizabeth of York recognises/endorses Perkin as her brother in exchange for her son's lives?
     
  4. Thoresby Well-Known Member

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    The Tudor children would have to die, stuffing them into the Church would not be viable option in any way, by this point there was 500 years of Canonical Law saying that forced Vocations weren't binding meaning the boys would be able to renounce their Religious status as soon as it is safe to do so and the Catholic Church would accept it.
     
  5. Kaze Well-Known Member

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    Easy option - Childhood mortality is common for the period. Sometimes a pillow might help.
    Middle option - let them live and have them declared heirs to his throne until his wife Catherine Gordon can produce a son. Once she does, go for the easy option as seen as above.
    Hard option - wait for someone reveal him to be an usurper. Then deal with the problem violently - "I am the King just as William the Bastard was".
     
  6. seraphim74 Incurable Polonocentric

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    First of all, Richard IV (Perkin Warbeck) would be quite a distant kin to Henry VII's sons. That makes killing them easier for him. The princes in the Tower affair was so scandalous, since it was an uncle having his nephews murdered, at least in Tudor propaganda (personally I'm not so sure). Here we're talking about very distant cousins at best.
    If Richard IV wants to avoid official blame, he might banish both boys from England to France. Unfortunately the ship they travel on has an accident - difficult, but quite possible to arrange. Then it was God's will, wasn't it?
    Does anyone know what was Perkin Warbeck's official position about Richard III? AFAIK he never actually accused Richard of murdering his brother and trying to murder him. Problem is that if he recognizes Richard III as legitimate king, he discredits himself, since Richard became king only after his nephews were declared bastards. So I think we will have to blame Richard.
     
  7. isabella Well-Known Member

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    Seraphim I hope you are kidding. The boys are no way distant relatives and is almost exactly the same situation of Ricxhard III and the princes in the tower (make worst by the fact who in the Yorkist line that kids are the next in line after Richard IV). We are talking about Arthur and Henry Tudor, children of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, who was the eldest children of Edward IV and so sister of Richard IV. That boys are both his nephews and the next-in-line after him in a Yorkist line of succession
     
  8. The Professor Pontifex Collegii Vexillographiariorum

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    If we assume no underhanded murders of his nephews then Richard will control their upbringing. Since their father is now attainted for not relinquishing the throne - Henry's actions against Gloucester can be glossed as reasonable in light of not knowing Richard was alive - any titles are dependent on Richard himself.
    A lot will depend if Richard has children himself and if Arthur and Henry rebel or follow.
     
  9. JonasResende Well-Known Member

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    About the middle option, could Kate Gordon pop out a child - let alone a son? She married something like 4x OTL and left no kids, so might we see a King's Great Matter earlier here? Or is it (please let it be) Long Live King Warwick!
     
  10. JonasResende Well-Known Member

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    What would be the chances of Richard deciding to leave them be as "female line" relatives of the king (like the Suffolks or the Wydevilles). Separate them from Margaret Beaufort, I'm guessing their dad's executed, which means their sister can be remarried off abroad (like her younger sisters). Put them in the care of "loyal" retainers like IDK. Oh, and then get parliament to publish a Titulus Regius 2.0. that bars the Tudors from the throne of England. It buys Perkin a bit of time - since they're not gonna be leading revolts any time soon, and if they do, well, he can always get choppity with them.
     
  11. The Professor Pontifex Collegii Vexillographiariorum

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    There are a lot of dependent choices. In essence Arthur and Henry Tudor are in the same predicament as Warwick: the attainder of their father can be claimed to bar them from the throne.
    I suspect Warbeck will leave them attainted until he works out a succession including what happens with Cecily and her younger sisters, Warwick, Suffolk's kids, etc.
     
  12. seraphim74 Incurable Polonocentric

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    Oops, my mistake. I completely forgot about their mother and I thought only about Henry VII and his legitimacy. You are of course right.
     
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  13. isabella Well-Known Member

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    Henry VII's attainder will be bar the children from inhereiting Richmond (that unless the King will not decide to restore/recrate the title for Arthur) but not from the throne (that right came from their mother, not from their father who is the traitor here, Warwick was escluded because the rights to the crown came from his father who was the traitor).
    The smarter thing for Richard IV, if he can take custody at least of Elizabeth and her kids is declaring Henry of Richmond a traitor, execute him if he is captured, comdamn also Margaret Beaufort and Jasper Tudor and take the kids as his wards and heirs until he has his own childs. Cecily and her other sisters will be suitabily married to Yorkist supporters or abroad (Elizabeth included if widowed or her wedding is annulled). If the boys are loyals to him in future the lands of their grandmother Margaret and the titles of Somerset, Richmond and Pembroke can be restored to them and if Richard IV will not have any children by Catherine Gordon or any subsequent wife (Richard IV will not have any trouble to obtain an annulment from Catherine Gordon) Arthur will be his heir. If Richard IV had only daughters I think he will marry the eldest to Arthur
     
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  14. The Professor Pontifex Collegii Vexillographiariorum

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    Good points there.
     
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  15. Grey Wolf Writer, Poet, Publisher, Cat-sitter

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    A lot of it depends on circumstances - are the children (including the sisters) really just abandoned and left in London for the victors?

    The same goes for nobles not killed in battle, eg Jasper. He is not one to hang around.

    Could they be spirited away to Brittany or even France, and if so could a quick counter-thrust be organised?
     
  16. isabella Well-Known Member

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    No, but in the most likely scenario Elizabeth will follow the example of her mother and namesake and refuge in a sanctuary with her children so they will stay safe and protected but not outside from Perkin/Richard IV's reach...
    If Henry and Jasper will both die in battle or are captured and executed (Margaret will likely be executed also) well an agreement between Richard and Elizabeth (who had their mother and a paternal aunt still alive) in which Elizabeth recognize him as brother and rightful King but her children are named heirs presuntive and inherited the titles and properties of their paternal family the most logical choice and outcome