Two Deaths at Bosworth

Who becomes King?


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So, I've seen this talked about a lot, but I'm not sure there's ever been a consensus reached, so I'm going to try and achieve one.

In the event that both Richard III and Henry Tudor die at the Battle of Bosworth, who do you think would become the next King?

Your choices are:

1. Edward, Earl of Warwick: Reasons, technically with Edward IV's children proclaimed bastards, and with Richard III dead without legitimate issue, and with his father's attainder only applying to the Duchy, he is technically the rightful King. However, he is a child, which would require a regency, and had his development stunted by mismanagement.

2. John de La Pole: Seems after his own son died, Richard considered his nephew his heir, and even gave him the monies from the Duchy of Cornwall-something that would seemingly confirm this- however, I don't think he was in London, and was somewhere else when Bosworth happened and he's quite distant from the throne.

3. Elizabeth of York: Eldest surviving child of Edward IV, nothing says women can't inherit the throne. However, the issue of her legitmacy hangs over her.

4. Someone else.

These are the choices I can see, I'm fascinated to see who you all choose.
 
John de la Pole would definitely make a move for the throne, and with him being a Yorkist, twenty-seven with wealth and titles it would make him a good candidate. However, I don't think he would be able to keep control of the crown as there would be supporters for young Warwick - who, as the son of the second son despite the attainder, should be King - and for John de la Pole to reign they would have to ignore the issue of Anne of York (the eldest York daughter, older than John de la Pole's mother): Anne St. Ledger.
Yes, there is the argument that as Anne St. Ledger is a woman it wouldn't matter; but when she has sons it would be a problem for John as, for example, Richard II named his niece Phillipa's son as his Heir, so some could argue that her son - Thomas Manners - should be on the throne rather than John de la Pole.
Maybe John de la Pole was a warrior and a strong King and married Elizabeth of York then perhaps he could hold the throne, but even he seemed to recognise how weak his claim would be as - when rebelling against Henry VII - he did so through Lambert Simmel rather than his own name, suggesting he didn't believe he could garner enough support.

Honestly, I think John de la Pole would try to claim the throne, maybe even successfully gain it, but in the end it would be in the hands of Edward, Earl of Warwick.

(Sorry if my answer seems a bit all over the place - it's my first time answering one of these)
 
There is the complication that (iirc) all those "candidates" are away at Sheriff Hutton. So much depends on who collars them first.

Also, has the battle in general still gone as OTL, with Richard's army destroyed? If so the dominant figures are Oxford, Stanley and Northumberland. Northumberland might favour Warwick, with a view to marrying his young son to Warwick's sister, but I don't know how the others would feel about that.
 
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I think it boils down to which side's army is still intact, if Richard's army is destroyed like in RL, we've got a few Lancasters that served Henry Tudor but no royal claimant to push, except MAYBE Jasper Tudor.

But if you want to keep Richard's army intact I think it would boil down to what the Earls of Northumberland and Lincoln decide, that is if Norfolk is still dead and Surrey captured by the enemy.

I could see Elizabeth of York on the throne ONLY if a non-royal related lord decides to seize power, via marrying her and using Elizabeth as a puppet Queen, OR to make himself King jure uxoris.
 
John de la Pole would definitely make a move for the throne, and with him being a Yorkist, twenty-seven with wealth and titles it would make him a good candidate. However, I don't think he would be able to keep control of the crown as there would be supporters for young Warwick - who, as the son of the second son despite the attainder, should be King - and for John de la Pole to reign they would have to ignore the issue of Anne of York (the eldest York daughter, older than John de la Pole's mother): Anne St. Ledger.
Yes, there is the argument that as Anne St. Ledger is a woman it wouldn't matter; but when she has sons it would be a problem for John as, for example, Richard II named his niece Phillipa's son as his Heir, so some could argue that her son - Thomas Manners - should be on the throne rather than John de la Pole.
Maybe John de la Pole was a warrior and a strong King and married Elizabeth of York then perhaps he could hold the throne, but even he seemed to recognise how weak his claim would be as - when rebelling against Henry VII - he did so through Lambert Simmel rather than his own name, suggesting he didn't believe he could garner enough support.

Honestly, I think John de la Pole would try to claim the throne, maybe even successfully gain it, but in the end it would be in the hands of Edward, Earl of Warwick.

(Sorry if my answer seems a bit all over the place - it's my first time answering one of these)
Hmm, could Pole try and claim it in the name of his cousin?

There is the complication that (iirc) all those "candidates" are away at Sheriff Hutton. So much depends on who collars them first.

Also, has the battle in general still gone as OTL, with Richard's army destroyed? If so the dominant figures are Oxford, Stanly and Northumberland. Northumberland might favour Warwick, with a view to marrying his young son to Warwick's sister, but I don't know how the others would feel about that.
Hmm this is very true, is it possible for Richard's army to remain in tact?
I think it boils down to which side's army is still intact, if Richard's army is destroyed like in RL, we've got a few Lancasters that served Henry Tudor but no royal claimant to push, except MAYBE Jasper Tudor.

But if you want to keep Richard's army intact I think it would boil down to what the Earls of Northumberland and Lincoln decide, that is if Norfolk is still dead and Surrey captured by the enemy.

I could see Elizabeth of York on the throne ONLY if a non-royal related lord decides to seize power, via marrying her and using Elizabeth as a puppet Queen, OR to make himself King jure uxoris.
If Surrey isn't captured, would but Norfolk is still dead, would Surrey then push to get Warwick, de la Pole and Elizabeth from Sheriff Hutton, or immediately march on London?
 
If Lincoln was at Bosworth he could rally the surviving Ricardians and try to come to some accomodation with Percy ("here, have the North"). Though the Stanleys have a rather vested interest in not having Richard's favoured nephew and other members of the Ricardian regime in power (assuming Richard has died in his charge after William Stanley's intervention), and they have several thousand men backing their interests.

Even if he's not present at Bosworth he has the advantage of being an adult male claimant, though the disadvantage of not having much of an affinity of his own (would his father be more proactive here, given the political vacuum?). Depending on how you read his motives in the Simnel affair IOTL he also might not be the type to act decisively.

But if he's with Warwick at Sheriff Hutton or wherever when news of Bosworth arrives then he'd also be in a position to do something- either have a crack at the throne whilst keeping the other male claimant in his possession, or putting Warwick up for the throne and being his prime supporter. If Lincoln is nowhere near Warwick when Bosworth happens, then the question becomes: who is looking after Warwick, and how ambitious are they feeling?

On Warwick- I don't believe he had any intrinsic developmental disorder, and any issues he did have likely stepped from Henry VII chucking him in the Tower as a 10-year old, so he should be fine here.

Elizabeth is a woman and has been disinherited (on perhaps dubious grounds), but there remains the possibility of a husband claiming the throne in her name. The people most liable to back her interests are also some way away- her half-brother Dorset was left behind in France and her uncle Scales (and another uncle?) is at Bosworth.

A major question is just what happens to the two leaderless armies- does the unengaged force under Percy just melt away with Richard dead, or can Percy keep some of them under control to further his interests? As for Richard's army more broadly- if Lincoln is there he can try something, but if not then you've got three armies, with 0 kings between, staring at each other and wondering what happens next.

What about the Tudor force- they have no claimant to fight for. If they're completely decapitated (e.g. Pembroke, Oxford) then they might just disintegrate, but if they remain a cohesive force... Given Oxford and Pembroke have been out of the country or imprisoned for so long, and their estates presumably long distributed to others, I'm not sure there's an easy deal there allowing for rapprochement- but it's not like they're just gonna turn around and sail into exile forever. I imagine the French/mercenary component would just want to go home. Surrey, Catesby, and any other prisoners are a potential bargaining chip here.

If Percy can hold his division together can he work some sort of deal out with the Stanleys (doubtless the hardcore Ricardians would protest, but I'm not sure they have the numbers)? "Yeah, we'll go with Warwick, he's young and malleable, let's motor to Sheriff Hutton to collect him"- is that feasible? But then how does Lincoln react? Won't the hardcore Ricardians who view the Stanleys as traitorous backstabbers cause trouble?

In general, I think the non-royal powerbrokers (including the assorted nobles who didn't show up to Bosworth) will favour Warwick- because he's young and they can be the power behind the throne, marry a daughter to him etc. Lincoln, as an adult male claimant, is in with a chance if he acts decisively and dynamically, but in many ways his close association with his uncle might be harmful (though this might give him a sliver of support from his uncles core supporters). Elizabeth doesn't have much chance of ruling on her own, given the time period, and trying to grab her and then claim the throne is a rather reckless stratagem and I'm not sure there's anyone bold enough to try it.
 
If Lincoln was at Bosworth he could rally the surviving Ricardians and try to come to some accomodation with Percy ("here, have the North"). Though the Stanleys have a rather vested interest in not having Richard's favoured nephew and other members of the Ricardian regime in power (assuming Richard has died in his charge after William Stanley's intervention), and they have several thousand men backing their interests.

Even if he's not present at Bosworth he has the advantage of being an adult male claimant, though the disadvantage of not having much of an affinity of his own (would his father be more proactive here, given the political vacuum?). Depending on how you read his motives in the Simnel affair IOTL he also might not be the type to act decisively.

But if he's with Warwick at Sheriff Hutton or wherever when news of Bosworth arrives then he'd also be in a position to do something- either have a crack at the throne whilst keeping the other male claimant in his possession, or putting Warwick up for the throne and being his prime supporter. If Lincoln is nowhere near Warwick when Bosworth happens, then the question becomes: who is looking after Warwick, and how ambitious are they feeling?

On Warwick- I don't believe he had any intrinsic developmental disorder, and any issues he did have likely stepped from Henry VII chucking him in the Tower as a 10-year old, so he should be fine here.

Elizabeth is a woman and has been disinherited (on perhaps dubious grounds), but there remains the possibility of a husband claiming the throne in her name. The people most liable to back her interests are also some way away- her half-brother Dorset was left behind in France and her uncle Scales (and another uncle?) is at Bosworth.

A major question is just what happens to the two leaderless armies- does the unengaged force under Percy just melt away with Richard dead, or can Percy keep some of them under control to further his interests? As for Richard's army more broadly- if Lincoln is there he can try something, but if not then you've got three armies, with 0 kings between, staring at each other and wondering what happens next.

What about the Tudor force- they have no claimant to fight for. If they're completely decapitated (e.g. Pembroke, Oxford) then they might just disintegrate, but if they remain a cohesive force... Given Oxford and Pembroke have been out of the country or imprisoned for so long, and their estates presumably long distributed to others, I'm not sure there's an easy deal there allowing for rapprochement- but it's not like they're just gonna turn around and sail into exile forever. I imagine the French/mercenary component would just want to go home. Surrey, Catesby, and any other prisoners are a potential bargaining chip here.

If Percy can hold his division together can he work some sort of deal out with the Stanleys (doubtless the hardcore Ricardians would protest, but I'm not sure they have the numbers)? "Yeah, we'll go with Warwick, he's young and malleable, let's motor to Sheriff Hutton to collect him"- is that feasible? But then how does Lincoln react? Won't the hardcore Ricardians who view the Stanleys as traitorous backstabbers cause trouble?

In general, I think the non-royal powerbrokers (including the assorted nobles who didn't show up to Bosworth) will favour Warwick- because he's young and they can be the power behind the throne, marry a daughter to him etc. Lincoln, as an adult male claimant, is in with a chance if he acts decisively and dynamically, but in many ways his close association with his uncle might be harmful (though this might give him a sliver of support from his uncles core supporters). Elizabeth doesn't have much chance of ruling on her own, given the time period, and trying to grab her and then claim the throne is a rather reckless stratagem and I'm not sure there's anyone bold enough to try it.
Hmm interesting, so it does essentially boil down to two things, where Lincoln is, and what happens to the two armies? What would be the most interesting outcome story wise for the armies? I'm leaning toward the Yorkist force keeping Surrey free and not a prisoner, whilst the Tudor force has lost Pembroke, but still has Oxford potentially.
 
Hmm, could Pole try and claim it in the name of his cousin?


Yeah, that's be an idea. John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln likely would have asserted himself as Regent/Protectorate for Edward, Earl of Warwick (Edward V or Edward VI depending on whether they revoke Titus and acknowledge Edward V's un-coronated reign). Then I think John de la Pole would have married Elizabeth of York (if they revoke Titus) and perhaps even Edward, Earl of Warwick to Cecily or Anne of York.
 
Hmm this is very true, is it possible for Richard's army to remain in tact?

If Surrey isn't captured, would but Norfolk is still dead, would Surrey then push to get Warwick, de la Pole and Elizabeth from Sheriff Hutton, or immediately march on London?
How is Richard getting himself killed if his army is still intact, though? He only went for the all-or-nothing charge IOTL because things were going badly after all.

I think getting a hold of a claimant is imperative- if you can scoop all three in one location, then surely you'd target that. Otherwise, what's the point of marching of London? Is he going to seize the city in the name of King To Be Determined?
 
Hmm interesting, only issue is de La Pole was already married.

How is Richard getting himself killed if his army is still intact, though? He only went for the all-or-nothing charge IOTL because things were going badly after all.

I think getting a hold of a claimant is imperative- if you can scoop all three in one location, then surely you'd target that. Otherwise, what's the point of marching of London? Is he going to seize the city in the name of King To Be Determined?
And this is very true, I suppose it would be better to have Surrey not be captured, but for the armies to start falling apart around them. Pembroke is killed, Oxford wounded etc.
 
That's even sort of what he tried IOTL with Simnel, maybe.

Re: marrying Elizabeth of York, Lincon's existing wife is a bit of an obstacle.
 
Jasper Tudor! Mainly just becasue King Jasper I would be fun and if the Lancastrian army is the more intact after the battle he probably has a chance.

If the Yorkist army is the one more intact, however, then I concur with @rose's War that de la Pole is the most likely Yorkist candidate.

So ultimately it comes down to who loses the worst, because which ever side has the biggest army left will claim the throne under their new candidate, which probably would be Jasper Tudor for the Lancastrians and John de la Pole for the Yorkist.

The wildcard option (yes, even more than Jasper) is Edward V. This is admittedly a little left field given that the generally accepted theory of the Princes in the Tower is that they were killed on Richard III's orders but a theory does exist that they were actually killed by Henry VII after he came to the throne and the blame being apportioned on . If that was the case, and really we have no actual evidence either way, then Edward V is 15 after Bosworth, almost at his majority. If he is discovered to be alive still then he is probably going to be a good rallying point for the Yorkist cause and, given his development has probably been a little stunted by his time in prison, like Edward de Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon, arguably was later on, would prpbably make a good puppet king for another Yorkist power player.
 
But if you want to keep Richard's army intact I think it would boil down to what the Earls of Northumberland and Lincoln decide
Northumberland certainly. But iirc Lincoln is away at Sheriff Hutton and has no army, so no voice.

Possible wild card - the French mercenaries who form the core of henry's army. With Henry dead they are looking fo a new paymaster.
 
And this is very true, I suppose it would be better to have Surrey not be captured, but for the armies to start falling apart around them. Pembroke is killed, Oxford wounded etc.
Have to keep in mind that an uncaptured Surrey would be deeply involved in whatever post-battle intrigue happens with Percy and the Stanleys et al.

Both Tudors killed and Oxford seriously wounded could be enough to make the Lancastrian army fall apart entirely, no?
 
Hmm interesting, only issue is de La Pole was already married.
I'd completely forgotten about that. It could still work as as Regent he could surely peruse a divorce. This would not be unheard of as Anne of York - his Aunt - divorced from the Duke of Exeter in 1472.
 
Have to keep in mind that an uncaptured Surrey would be deeply involved in whatever post-battle intrigue happens with Percy and the Stanleys et al.

Both Tudors killed and Oxford seriously wounded could be enough to make the Lancastrian army fall apart entirely, no?
This is true re Surrey, which would make for a ot of fun shenangans.

And I think that's likely yes. Stanley makes his charge, Henry is killed by Richard who is then killed himself, Oxford meanwhile is killed whilst all this is going on.
 
Given the era any woman is out as a claiment on their own. The memory of Anarchy meant no one would accept another Matilda. So it all boils down to who's army is in better shape and backroom dealing. The actual strength of the claim is not going to matter all that much as long as its good enough tp meet a rather low threshold, an arranged marriage can paper over the cracks.

Due to a desire not to have more war, claiments that are adult and proven warriors have a better chance but in the snake pit that is politics at this time, the sneakiest could squeeze through the middle as a compromise.
 
Given the era any woman is out as a claiment on their own. The memory of Anarchy meant no one would accept another Matilda. So it all boils down to who's army is in better shape and backroom dealing. The actual strength of the claim is not going to matter all that much as long as its good enough tp meet a rather low threshold, an arranged marriage can paper over the cracks.

Due to a desire not to have more war, claiments that are adult and proven warriors have a better chance but in the snake pit that is politics at this time, the sneakiest could squeeze through the middle as a compromise.
So, de La Pole might just be in with a shot then?
 
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