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What if Henry VII had been good-looking and charming….?

Hideous HenryIt occurred to me today that when it comes to being so very supportive of Richard III, we are helped (in a manner of speaking) by Henry Tudor being such a visual horror. Yes, truly. He was ugly inside and out. Loathsome. And his legacy of the House of Tudor was only brightened by Elizabeth I. The rest you can keep. Every last one of them. What a bunch. It’s difficult to picture, I know, but if Henry had been a handsome, delightful chap, what then?

So, might later reaction to Henry Tudor have been different if he too were good-looking, a brave warrior, and a just man with charm aplenty? Let’s face it, not one of those adjectives could be applied to Henry, who even cowered at the back when it came to battles. He was a miserly liar, coward and cheat, a dull clerk and an accountant with a full set of claws, whom fate conspired to put on the throne. Because of him, we lost Richard III, who would have gone on to be one of our great kings.

Oh, I make no bones about my totally biased and carved-in-stone judgement of both men. Henry even managed to die in his bed. How grossly unfair and unjust was that? He had overseen the hacking to death of the King of England, and had only been able to do that because Richard had been betrayed. Hm, Sir William Stanley sure as hell paid the price for that! No sympathy from me for him either.

And I do know that the book from which the above illustration is taken is far from complimentary about Richard – who is portrayed as Shakespeare’s fictional monster. Henry, I believe, is portrayed as his true self!

It’s hard, I know, but if you can just picture Henry as being more like Richard, would we still condemn him so savagely? Yes, we would. Perhaps not quite so savagely, but we’d still condemn him. He had no right to the throne, but stole it through treachery, without having any blood claim. It’s difficult to forgive that, but I still wonder if we’d be quite so vitriolic if the two men were a more balanced match?


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9 thoughts on “What if Henry VII had been good-looking and charming….?

  1. He is the villain! May he burn in hell the bastard!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. McArthur, Richard P. on said:

    I don’t think Henry VII was a coward. He is noted as having fought at Bosworth when Richard and his contingent got to Henry’s location; somewhat more effectively thian his attendants expected (he survived). For the rest, he was realistic. He wasn’t an Edward IV, eiher as a general or as a fighter, h e couldn’t match Richard. Wisely, he let others handle the fighting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gary on said:

      I am as Ricardian as they come but I endorse Mr. McArthur here. When one observes what happened to Charles the Bold at Nancy, Richard at Bosworth, James the IV at Flodden and Francis II at Pavia, the time for monarchs to enter the hand to hand combat had come to an end.

      Liked by 1 person

    • viscountessw on said:

      I thought that at Bosworth he was always protected behind a force of bodyguards, so although he was present at Bosworth, he didn’t actually fight. And he didn’t arrive at Stoke until it was all over. So although he may not have been a coward, he was the next best thing. His purpose was to preserve his hide at all costs. Maybe it was a wise goal, but in that day and age it wasn’t exactly what was expected of a leader. Richard fought to the last, and yes, he died in battle. But as a leader and a warrior, he was much more admirable in the eyes of his peers.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Dianne P on said:

        The difference between Richard and Henry is that Richard cared. He cared about his men, his people and the rights and wrongs of things. He had led his men in battle so he was one of them – he led from the front not barking orders from the back. Henry didn’t care – he just wanted to get his scrawny ass on the throne, irrespective of the rights or wrongs of it – if it was wrong he changed the rules. He didn’t care about his men as long as they got him out alive and would no more lead them as ban taxation.
        Henry ruled by fear – Richard ruled (for such a short time) by Justice and understanding.

        Liked by 3 people

  3. There have been some truly dreadful people who were good looking. I have heard, for example, that Josef Mengele looked like a Hollywood star. I’d still hate Henry if he was gorgeous in appearance!

    It has been said of him, however, that whatever you think of him, he was pretty good at economics, or hired people who were. Maybe that’s what England needed at the time, however the louse took the throne.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. hoodedman1 on said:

    Phillip the Fair of France (father of England’s Queen Isabella, wife of Edward II, also often called a ‘She Wolf’ was supposed to be a very good looking king, but look him up! This guy was one of the inspirations for Game of Thrones.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. viscountessw on said:

    My reason for posting this article was to imagine Henry being Richard’s equal in honour, charm, looks and so on. It has to be said that Henry was not pleasant or an oil-painting, he wouldn’t actually face his foes on the battlefield, and he won through treachery. So it is easy to loathe him. But if he had been just like Richard, except for the treachery and cowering/non-appearance on the battlefield , would we all be quite so vitriolic about him? Hmm, I think I just talked myself out of the whole thing. It wouldn’t matter if Henry Tudor had been a sweet cherub of a fellow, we would STILL find him personally abhorrent. and what he did for England was a by-product of feathering his own nest. Besides which, his legacy was the monstrous Henry VIII! I’m glad that Henry VII spent his reign looking over his shoulder. He deserved to suffer, not to rule over Richard III’s realm.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Esther on said:

    When he came to the throne, Henry VIII was everything his dad was not — good looking, brave, and he didn’t cower in tents. Still evil, though (and while I think that Henry VII should be blamed for many things, he should not be blamed for Henry VIII — it isn’t the fault of the parents when kids go bad as adults.)


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