WI: Henry VII dies of the Sweating Sickness?

In 1485, not long after Henry Tudor landed in England and won the Battle of Bosworth Field, the first bout of a sickness called "the sweats" broke out and ravaged the country. No one is sure where it came from, though some theories suggest that it could have been Tudor's own army that brought the contagion with them as they crossed the Channel. It was a deadly pandemic that saw thousands dead, and would seemingly burn out only to flare back up on-and-off going into the Sixteenth Century. Notably, Arthur Tudor, firstborn son and heir to Henry VII, might have very well died to this disease, among other possibilities such as tuberculosis and the flu.

So the POD is that, perhaps as God's punishment upon the Welshman for striking down Richard III, Henry Tudor himself catches the Sweating Sickness during its first outbreak from September to October, 1485, and dies shortly thereafter. He had already proclaimed himself King by right of conquest, BUT had not been crowned at Westminster yet, nor had he yet honoured his pledge to unite the warring lines of Lancaster and York by marrying Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV. All of which would assuredly lead to a hailstorm of the worst possible proportions, especially as from all looks and purposes Tudor literally got smite by divine retribution.

So, who would be King? The Yorkist cause had been utterly smashed at Bosworth, but they do have a plethora of claimants lying around, including John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln, Edward Plantagenet, Earl of Warwick, and of course Elizabeth of York herself. The Lancastrians, by contrast, have unquestioned military supremacy, but a dearth of suitable claimants now that Henry had bitten the dust. My own thoughts currently revolve around Jasper Tudor, Duke of Bedford (and yes, I know he does not have even the slightest claim to the throne in his own right) fulfilling his nephew's pledge to wed EoY, possibly Charles Somerset, Earl of Worcester (who would be perfect...if he was not a bastard from a bastard line) doing the same, or maybe even one of the Stafford boys? I believe the Stanleys do not have any eligible sons to marry EoY either, otherwise they could be in the running as well.

I am skeptical of any foreign candidates ala Maximilian of Austria claiming the throne, with so many native options available to the English.

There's also the question of if anyone can hold the throne even should they successfully claim it for themselves. In 1486 there will be the...hapless Stafford and Lovell Rebellion which went nowhere OTL, and in 1487 Lambert Simnel will be propped up by various Yorkists as a Hail Mary. Not to mention Perkin Warbeck showing up in the 1490's for his own shot at power. All of these desperate rebellions were shut down pretty effectively by Henry VII, but in his absence, and in the ensuing chaos following his death, might any of these attempts be more successful? As a hypothetical example, if Jasper were to become King by marrying EoY, he would be dead by the time Warbeck seriously attempted to mount an invasion; the conspiracy surrounding "Richard IV" would have a much better chance to evade detection and arrest if the Tudor on the throne is elderly and failing rather than a energetic man in his prime.

Much of the reforms made by Henry VII will not happen as well, and England's finances would most likely be in a far worse spot than OTL going into the 1500's. On the plus side, no Henry VIII and no Great Matter either.

So, what do y'all think? What happens if Henry Tudor dies in 1485 of a sickness he himself brought to England, uncrowned and unwed?
 
Totally out of my sector, but having read quite a few York/Lancaster/Tudor timelines I was under the impression that Henry's military superiority was partly due to a splitting off of the yorkists disgruntled with Richard. With Richard dead and the Lancastrians effectively claimant-less, those yorkists would return to.. EoY married to another English yorkist claimant?
 
He fought against a semi-established Henry at that point. If Henry's gone, then his own chance is much better. Secure Elizabeth of York first. Since his wife Margaret has no surviving child, one son, Alan, died young, maybe get it anulled/divorced and marry Elizabeth.
 
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I can't see her pushing her own claim alone. Lincoln är well motivated and the best option for her. Inviting a foreign husband to enforce her own claim would lead to even more infighting in england. Not to mention it would be seen as a foreign invasion by the english nobility.
 
Here's a family tree that I've made for a John de la Pole scenario(Say Warwick dies of "an accident". and De la Pole marries Elizabeth of York.) (If anyone likes it feel free to take it.)

King John II of England(b.1460, r.from 1486, d.1512), m.Elizabeth of York, Queen of England(b.1466, d.1522) had issue
1)Edward, Prince of Wales(b.1488)
2)Princess Elizabeth of England(b.1490)
3)Prince William of England, Duke of York(b.1492, d.1492)
4)Prince John, Duke of York(b.1495)
5)Princess Cecily of England(b.1497)
6)Prince George, Duke of Somerset(b.1499)
7 )Princess Catherine of England(b.1501, d.1501)
 
Did not expect so many replies so quickly!
Totally out of my sector, but having read quite a few York/Lancaster/Tudor timelines I was under the impression that Henry's military superiority was partly due to a splitting off of the yorkists disgruntled with Richard. With Richard dead and the Lancastrians effectively claimant-less, those yorkists would return to.. EoY married to another English yorkist claimant?
That is true, I believe, and with Henry having dismissed his French mercenaries upon winning Bosworth, almost the entirety of his military strength will be based on those English nobles who flocked to his banner. However, even if these "Yorkists" still hold true to the white rose, they nevertheless fought and killed Richard III's men like any good Lancastrian (ala Stanley), or just fled without a struggle (ala Percy). I think they will have good cause to elevate a Lancastrian claimant, or at least someone not associated with Richard heavily, in order to preserve their own necks and even benefit from royal largess.

And of course there are folks like Bedford and Oxford who have every reason not to raise up a Yorkist to the throne, at least one that cannot be controlled by them entirely. Which is why...
If I were a betting person, I would put my money on John de La Pole.
...I am not sure if I would be so confident in Lincoln as you are. Leaving aside the fact that he was married, and fought for Warwick/Simnel when he chose to rebel OTL (both points which you acknowledged), there are still several obstacles for John to overcome:
-any annulment of his existing marriage would have to happen at a blindingly fast pace in order for it to have a semblance of legitimacy
-he would have to gain access to EoY as a recently-pardoned traitor, drag along sufficient witnesses and a priest willing to marry them, somehow find a private locale for the wedding to take place, and do all this quickly without the Tudor loyalists finding out
-even after all this trouble, he needs to get people to accept his shotgun marriage without a sizable army of his own

I don't think I see it happening. It will be the Tudor inner circle who receives news of Henry VII's death first, and they will assuredly lock down EoY as an exceedingly valuable pawn. And with John so openly affiliated with Richard III before his death, none of the victors at Bosworth will accept him as King, not when they have a ton of other options to go for, whether it be a malleable child-king Warwick or a """Lancastrian""" male who can marry EoY.
Here's a family tree that I've made for a John de la Pole scenario(Say Warwick dies of "an accident". and De la Pole marries Elizabeth of York.) (If anyone likes it feel free to take it.)

King John II of England(b.1460, r.from 1486, d.1512), m.Elizabeth of York, Queen of England(b.1466, d.1522) had issue
1)Edward, Prince of Wales(b.1488)
2)Princess Elizabeth of England(b.1490)
3)Prince William of England, Duke of York(b.1492, d.1492)
4)Prince John, Duke of York(b.1495)
5)Princess Cecily of England(b.1497)
6)Prince George, Duke of Somerset(b.1499)
7 )Princess Catherine of England(b.1501, d.1501)
Family trees are good, but in depth discussion of the political drama will be even better. :p The date of birth for royal princelings matter less in the grand scheme of things than locking down what kind of king will reign, and what his policies will be, IMO.
Any possibility for Elizabeth of York to be crowned Queen?
Not in her own right, but I think Jasper, or another hardcore Tudor loyalist, marrying EoY is a serious possibility. Their reign will be even more paranoid and unsteady than Henry VII's OTL, and they will lack Henry's talent for administration, but at least Edward IV's grandson will sit the throne and they're not restoring a Richardian or a child to the throne of England.


I've also done some digging on the Stafford and Lovell Rebellion of 1486; apparently they rose up in the name of Warwick. Something to be considered - perhaps the Yorks would rally around Warwick as King in opposition to EoY and her husband?
 
Perhaps the Yorkists would prefer a man who is actually a capable adult to a mentally ill child(Given what happened with Henry VI, the whole point of getting rid of him was to ensure that he wasn't controlled by his wife and advisors too much).. I do understand the family(say his first wife simply dies from a stillbirth in the early 1480s) of John de la pole in this scenario isn't the most important thing, but the age of his children with Elizabeth may shape his international policy, in way of alliances, options for such a birth order are:
1: Edward, Prince of Wales(b.1488) to Catherine of Aragon(b.1485), as the match would bring further legitimacy via her Lancastrian blood(De Le Pole may not need it as much as Henry VII, but it would bring a valuable alliance, and a good dowry.
2:We could see Cecily(b.1497) marrying Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor(b.1500) (again, a good alliance)
Now, as for internal politics; If by some miracle, John marries Elizabeth(maybe her mother will want such a match, or John's father the Duke of Suffolk would arrange it so his son can be king), he can count on his father's support, as well as possibly that of what is left of the Woodville family.. Also, John may have something of a better claim than some of the others(though not as good as Warwick's, his is likely better than Staffords, as he was the nephew of two of the previous kings of England)...
 
Perhaps the Yorkists would prefer a man who is actually a capable adult to a mentally ill child(Given what happened with Henry VI, the whole point of getting rid of him was to ensure that he wasn't controlled by his wife and advisors too much).. I do understand the family(say his first wife simply dies from a stillbirth in the early 1480s) of John de la pole in this scenario isn't the most important thing, but the age of his children with Elizabeth may shape his international policy, in way of alliances, options for such a birth order are:
1: Edward, Prince of Wales(b.1488) to Catherine of Aragon(b.1485), as the match would bring further legitimacy via her Lancastrian blood(De Le Pole may not need it as much as Henry VII, but it would bring a valuable alliance, and a good dowry.
2:We could see Cecily(b.1497) marrying Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor(b.1500) (again, a good alliance)
Now, as for internal politics; If by some miracle, John marries Elizabeth(maybe her mother will want such a match, or John's father the Duke of Suffolk would arrange it so his son can be king), he can count on his father's support, as well as possibly that of what is left of the Woodville family.. Also, John may have something of a better claim than some of the others(though not as good as Warwick's, his is likely better than Staffords, as he was the nephew of two of the previous kings of England)...
Wasn't warwick mentally illbecause he was essentially locked up his whole life? ITTL this would probably be averted.
 
Surely the first question is are the Princes in the Tower.

Who killed them in OTL. If Richard then the field is open. If Henry then we have a legitimate King

This does make things unstable. If Edward V lives then we have a minor if he is dead then we have pretenders
 
Surely the first question is are the Princes in the Tower.

Who killed them in OTL. If Richard then the field is open. If Henry then we have a legitimate King

This does make things unstable. If Edward V lives then we have a minor if he is dead then we have pretenders
He was probably dead by 1485, or else Elizabeth Woodville wouldn't have allied with Tudor.
 
Who's gonna kill him? He's just a kid of 10 in 1485, best thing any yorkist claimant could do to him would be exile.....and that would be pretty much overkill IMO.
Murdering him may seem to be overkill, yet it would prevent him from ever trying to take the throne(they'll remember that his father was a traitor). Exile on the other hand would cause more problems than it solves for he could say, flee to a foreign court, marry the female relative of whoever wants to prop him up, and then take the throne with foreign support....
 
Murdering him may seem to be overkill, yet it would prevent him from ever trying to take the throne(they'll remember that his father was a traitor). Exile on the other hand would cause more problems than it solves for he could say, flee to a foreign court, marry the female relative of whoever wants to prop him up, and then take the throne with foreign support....
Maybe someone could pull some legal shenanigans where he isn't allowed to marry/form alliances without the permission of the monarch?
Is EoY marrying him totally out of the question?
Even in the hardcore WotR, I don't think a child was murdered just because he held a claim .
 
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