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Did Richard III lose or Henry win the throne in 1485?

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Introduction

Did Richard III lose or Henry win the throne in 1485? I think Henry Tudor won the throne in 1485 at the battle of Bosworth Field. However Richard contributed heavily to Henrys success and didn't help himself. So in effect he also lost the throne. If Henry had not won this battle however it is likely the Richard would have carried on being king for quite some considerable time. It was however Richard who was responsible for the events leading up to the battle of Bosworth. Richards rule was always unstable due to his unlawful usurpation to the throne and his part as far as the public was concerned in the death of the two princes. As a result right from the start he didn't have the trust or support from his country. As soon as he became King people were already plotting against him. After he was crowned he travelled the country trying to raise support by refusing the generous gifts offered to him by various cities. However unknown to him a rebellion was been planned in the South.

Middle

Richard did not make himself popular with two countries in particular. Under his brother Edwards rule Richard had been Warden of the West Marches. This meant guarding England's border against the Scottish was his responsibility. He took this role seriously and stopped many raids. Towards the latter stages of Edwards reign he then attacked Scotland marching up to Edinburgh. There he captured James III. Much to Richards annoyance he then had to retreat because a replacement for James couldn't be found and because of a lack of recourses and funding. This put him out of favour with the Scots which would have serious repercussions at the battle of Bosworth. All of these problems came to a head however when Henry Tudor appeared on the scene. Henry had a reasonable claim to the throne through his mother Margaret Beaufort Up to then Richard had been disliked by many but they were not strong enough to threaten him. However Henry provided the people with a figurehead with which they could rally around.

Conclusion

This meant that Richard could not bring his superior numbers to bear as they were fighting across a narrow front. He then left his good defensive position. It is then that the mistrust which Richard had created became apparent when the Stanley's changed sides. This resulted in Richard having to make a daring charge in an attempt to win the battle by killing Henry. This however ultimately got him killed and resulted in Henry taking the throne for himself. In defensive of Richard he did come very close to killing Henry (he did kill his standard bearer) and it is easy to criticise in hindsight. Richards downfall was not all brought on by himself however Henry did have a large part to play in winning the crown. He successfully escaped capture and managed to gather a large amount of supporters. He then fought well at the battle of Bosworth despite having no previous combat experienced (though he was helped greatly by the desertion of Richards stepfather Lord Stanley). It is likely that without Henry as a rallying point Richard would have carried on being King despite his unpopularity as there was no one strong enough to oppose him. 1

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