The April activities of the usurping House of Lancaster….

Edward IV

Richard II was ‘hugely unpopular’? Hm, there speaks a fan of the usurping House of Lancaster, methinks.

And “….The tragic and short rule of Edward V started on April 9th 1483 on the death of his father, Edward IV. Young Edward would never really exercise power – within weeks, he had been taken into ‘protective’ custody by his uncle, the Duke of Gloucester and found himself in the Tower of London. He was never seen alive outside its walls again….” Hm, he wasn’t seen dead either, so no one knows what happened to him. Edward’s disappearance was as likely to be another work of the usurping House of Lancaster! I doubt very much if it was Richard III.

I also find fault with “….The man who would claim the throne left wobbling by the death of Edward IV also passed away on an April day. Henry VII had ruled since 1485 when he seized power at the Battle of Bosworth. His reign had brought stability once more but his suspicious character had made him respected if not popular….” What’s to complain about? That the throne was ‘left wobbling’ until Henry Tudor usurped it. Richard III was the rightful king and would have reigned very well indeed…were it not for the treachery of those who decided to serve the House of Lancaster – to which I send cordial Boos!!!!!!

However, here’s another Royal Central offering, this time about April events that took place through history.

11 comments

  1. Off topic, but replying to a new post in hopes of getting a response. I have two obscure questions about the succession that I’ve been having trouble tracking down:

    Firstly, is there any record of how Richard III justified naming as his heir John de la Pole, his nephew by his second sister, instead of Anne St Leger, Richard’s niece by his first sister? I recognize that the obvious answer is that John is a man and Anne is a woman, but the Yorks had staked their claim to the throne during the WOTR entirely on the tradition of primogeniture.

    Secondly, I only recently discovered your site through an old post title “Meet your real Lancastrian claimants.” Your list members of the Portuguese royal house of Avis (descended from John of Gaunt’s first daughter, Philippa). Given that one of the arguments for the Lancastrian claim was the entail of Edward III favoring Gaunt’s line of Antwerp’s, wouldn’t that same legalistic argument exclude Philippa’s line from the succession (as well as any claim of the Trastamaras descended from Gaunt’s younger daughter Catherine) via Edward III’s Status of Children Born Abroad Act? In other words, shouldn’t the Lancastrian line — after the deaths of Henry VI and Edward of Westminster — have started with Elizabeth of Lancaster?

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    1. I’m no historian, bobby, and so all this is guesswork. To be strictly honest, I don’t think there’s any actual proof of Richard III naming John de la Pole as his heir. It’s only believed that was his intention because he made John his Lieutenant in Ireland, a position that usually went to the heir. Anne St Leger was about 9 in 1485, and unmarried, so not only incapable of ruling, but her father had been executed as a traitor in 1483. Maybe Richard simply did not want to name the daughter of a man who’d been a traitor to him? The fact that she was also his niece may not have been enough. Besides, at such a very hazardous time, England needed a strong hand at the helm, and John de la Pole had the necessary talents in this respect. So that’s my guessed-at response to your first question.

      I can’t really answer your second question either – not on very firm ground anyway. Regarding Edward III’s entail…was it ever mentioned in Henry IV’s claim to the throne? I don’t think it was produced; more did he claim the crown through conquest. This made his siblings the top dogs, and Philippa of Lancaster was therefore the senior one after Henry’s own line. I don’t know anything about the Status of Children Born Abroad Act, so can’t respond to that one.

      As for Elizabeth of Lancaster…her second husband (the first having still been a child when their marriage was annulled) happens to be one of my favourite figures from that period. John Holand, 1st Earl of Huntingdon, 1st Duke of Exeter, fascinates me, but I can’t say the same for his son or grandson. Especially the grandson. Better to stick with Philippa of Lancaster!

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      1. Regarding John de la Pole and Anne St Leger, I agree that is the likeliest explanation, but wouldn’t such an action strengthen the Lancastrian claim? That is to say, if kings have the right to set aside the tradition of primogeniture and name heirs as they see fit, then what would that not undermine Richard of York’s claim (and, by extension, Richard III’s claim) via Lionel of Antwerp, given Edward III’s entail and Richard II’s abdication in favor of Bolingbroke? (This is of course an entirely legalistic line of thinking and ignores that both Henry IV and Edward IV came to power via conquest and with parliamentary support.)

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  2. Kings did change what their predecessors declared. Richard II legitimised the Beauforts, but then Henry IV, the Beauforts’ half-brother, changed it so they couldn’t ascend the throne. He wanted his own line to be top of the heap, without any inconvenient half-siblings cluttering up his claim.

    Of course, this didn’t stop Henry VII seizing the throne almost a century later, even though his descent was through the Beauforts. That’s why he claimed Richard III’s crown through conquest.

    Richard II also spent a great deal of his reign tantalising people with the the mystery of who he’d name as his successor. It was widely expected that the Earl of March (whose wife was the senior brotherLionel of Clarence’s only child, and whose son was therefore Lionel’s direct descendant) would be named. But whether Richard actually did nominate March is another matter. Some say he did and some say he didn’t. He also seemed to favour Edward, Duke of York, who was the son of a younger line than Lancaster. So you takes your pick.

    Although the rule of primogeniture was generally accepted in England, it wasn’t law. As for Richard II abdicating in favour of Henry IV – you think he had a choice? It was “hand the crown to Henry, or else”. So he handed the crown to Henry, and the “or else” bit zapped him pdq anyway. I don’t believe Richard did anything voluntarily once he fell into Henry’s hands. It was all coercion.

    And it’s also thought that Richard II destroyed Edward III’s entail, and maybe that’s why Henry IV didn’t produce it. Again, no proof. So I think the whole thing is one big grey area.

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    1. Richard II’s guessing game as to whom would succeed him is, for me, one of the most interesting parts of his reign. It makes me wonder Richard III was playing a similar sort of game with John de la Pole.

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      1. We’ll never know, bobby, but I don’t think so. And we’re only guessing that Richard chose John. There’s no proof, only the Lieutenant of Ireland post. My opinion is that Richard genuinely believed John to be the best and most legitimate temporary candidate – until he, Richard, could remarry and produce an heir of his own. Let’s face it, Richard was a young man and didn’t expect to die at Bosworth. I wish he hadn’t, but then I’m biased!

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