• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Were the pretenders a serious threat to Henry VII's throne?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Were the pretenders a serious threat to Henry VII's throne? A pretender is someone who pretends to be someone else in order to have a credible claim to the throne. There were two pretenders present during Henry VII's reign, but he managed to over come them. Their names were Lambert Simnel, who was at large for only the year 1487, and Perkin Warbeck, who was on the loose between 1490 and 1498. Many factors contributed to their successes and failures, these factors will be discussed in this essay. Who the pretenders were pretending to be was very important, as it could entirely change the credibility to their claim to the throne. In fact, to increase the likelihood that they were who they said, both pretenders ended up masquerading as individuals that they didn't look like. Richard Symmons, a priest, saw that Lambert Simnel looked very similar to Richard of York, so initially, he was impersonated. However, many people believed the two sons of Edward IV to be dead, but here were still many rumours surrounding the whereabouts of the Earl of Warwick, so Symmons decided it would be more advantageous for Simnel to impersonate him. If the public believed he was a serious contender for the throne, then Henry would have to take notice, but if the public believed he was dead, and was therefore a pretender, there would be no chance in him overthrowing the throne. Many years later, Perkin Warbeck did the complete opposite. ...read more.

Middle

His main Irish benefactor was the Earl of Desmond, but this is still very limited. Both the pretenders got much backing from Margaret of Burgandy, the sister of Richard III and Edward IV, who despised Henry. For Lambert Simnel, Margaret provided 2,000 professional German soldiers, and also Martin Schwarz as a commander, to fight on his behalf, which was a large amount of Simnel's forces. She also offered a place to stay for English nobles who had turned against the king and fled the country. Margaret offered Perkin Warbeck refuge, and tutored him in the ways of the Yorkist court, which he needed to know thoroughly to pass as Richard. She also acknowledged him as her nephew. Simnel gained no other foreign support, but Warbeck was recognised as Richard of York by Charles VIII of France and also Maxamillion, the Holy Roman Emperor. This made his threat to the throne far more serious as he had recognition all over Europe, and also from Scotland. James IV of Scotland also recognised Warbeck as who he claimed to be. He gave Warbeck his cousin to marry, which meant he was legitimately part of the Scottish royal family, and an even more serious threat to Henry. James also gave Warbeck troops for an invasion of England. Although Warbeck received much support, it all came at different times, and there was not enough support from just one person to complete his mission. Even though Simnel had a smaller support basis, all events happened in a very short period, and therefore made him much more dangerous. ...read more.

Conclusion

There was no other distraction at the time, so all eyes were on the difficulties in England. This meant Henry was in a weak position, and susceptible to a foreign invasion. Luckily he was saved from this problem, when Charles III invaded Italy. Warbeck also threatened a marriage agreement with Henry's heir Arthur, Prince of Wales. Again this was resolved when a truce with Scotland was arranged. There were also difficulties with traitors in the nobility, but improved spy networks meant this problem was not as serious as before. The final worry with Warbeck was that he was at large for eight years. This meant Henry was more inclined to risk more to capture him. Simnel was more a threat in this instance, as Henry had never dealt with this kind of problem before, and problems with Warbeck were resolved more effectively and quickly. Overall, the two pretenders were potentially serious threats to Henry, they had many forms of support, and their claims seemed legitimate to most. However, because of Henry's quick and decisive reactions, and his willingness to learn from previous experiences, he managed to hold his position as king and make England stable once again. If the social situation had been different, if there was public discontent towards Henry, then both the pretenders would have had a far better chance in succeeding, as their main downfall was in not gaining enough support from the general public. Simnel was a more serious threat to the throne as he had the element of surprise and speed - Henry had never encountered a pretender before, and all of his support came quickly, and at the right time. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics essays

  1. Essay: How serious was the Yorkist threat to Henry VII?

    The affair began when Lambert Simnel was chosen to play the Duke of Clarence's son; Earl of Warwick by an Oxford Priest and known Yorkist; Richard Symonds. The conspirators moved to Ireland, where they gained Irish support for Simnel, this was probably because Richard, Duke of York had the lieutenant of Ireland before Henry's reign.

  2. Was Lambert Simnel a greater threat to the security of Henry VII than Perkin ...

    But the greater threat that John de la Pole posed and the impact of his support was that it enabled Simnel to link his internal support and foreign support (therefore, linking internal and external threat), because of John de la Pole being the nephew of Margaret, Duchess of Burgundy (sister of Richard III), she too became involved in supporting Simnel.

  1. How much of a threat to Henry VII’s throne were the pretenders Lambert Simnel ...

    After landing in the north of England his forces numbered 8000. His presence in the north would have been threatening as he could have gained support from previous supporters of Richard III who had been respected and loved in that area.

  2. Assess the nature and threat posed by Puritanism

    agreement that the Book of CP and the ordinal contained nothing contrary to the word of God, and agreement to the 39 articles. He forced an 'ex officio' oath armed with 24 questions, and this inflexibility caused uproar - within Canterbury alone, 300 ministers were suspended for refusing to subscribe.

  1. Explain why Perkin Warbeck remained a threat to the security of Henry VII for ...

    He reminded the King of the existence of dissatisfaction within his own country and later among foreign powers. The princes had never been seen again and were presumed murdered by their uncle, Richard III. In this way, there was an immediate simplicity for Warbeck to exploit the lack of clarification as to what had happened to them.

  2. This essay examines the actions of Charles VII in relation to events pertaining to ...

    Since she was so beloved by the public, many historians feel that Charles feared her intentions. At the peak of her success she was potentially able to do anything without the fear of facing any consequences. Although speculative, several historians believe Charles suffered from psychological neuroses including paranoia.7 Such paranoia

  1. Essay on ways in which Henry VII was successful

    These included: Warship. This was the feudal due which most irked the nobility since it gave the king control of a nobles? land. It also gave the king control over the marriage of these children, which if the heir was female could mean that the family lost control of its land entirely and control nobles from getting to powerful.

  2. Wives & War: To what extent did these two aspects undermine Henry VIIIs rule ...

    Nevertheless Henry supported his wife but not her actions in interference with his Church and Parr?s writing of Protestant works, it would simply undermine the changes Henry made in religious reformation (Bingham 2011, pg 81), put plainly having a wife accused of being a ?heretic? put Henry in an unstable position.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work