How Serious Was The Threat Posed To Henry VII By Pretenders To The Throne

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How Serious Was The Threat Posed To Henry VII By Pretenders To The Throne?

From the time Henry gained the throne in 1485, he was vulnerable to attacks and threats. It became clear that he would need to move decisively to suppress any potential problems, so that he might secure the throne both for himself and his future dynasty. Henry’s resolve was tested when he faced three pretenders to the throne. These were Lambert Simnel, Perkin Warbeck and the Earl of Suffolk. From 1486 to 1506 Henry had to cope with both the pretenders and any other problems he had. He had to initially deal with the complications he had after he had actually claimed the throne himself. This essay will show which threat was the most dangerous to Henry and how each threat had its own significance.

The first pretender was Lambert Simnel who portrayed himself as Richard, Duke of York, (son of King Edward IV) and later as Edward, Earl of Warwick (nephew of Edward IV). The Earl of Warwick had a genuine claim to the throne as the son of the Duke of Clarence who was King Edward IV’s brother. The Earl of Warwick had been put into the Tower of London and therefore Simon had to get around this. When Simnel was 10 he was taken under the wings of Roger Simon (Richard Symonds) as a student. Simon spread a rumor that Warwick had actually fled from the Tower and was now with him. He gained some support from Yorkists and he took Simnel to Ireland where there was still support for the Yorkist cause. He then presented him to the Earl of Kildare. Kildare was willing to support the story and invade England to overthrow Henry. On 24 May 1487 Simnel was as King Edward VI. He was about 10 years old. The Earl of Lincoln, formerly the designated successor of the late King Richard III, joined the conspiracy against Henry VII. He fled to Burgundy, where Warwick's aunt Margaret of Burgundy, kept her court. Lincoln claimed that he had taken part in young Warwick's supposed escape. Margaret collected 2,000 and shipped them to Ireland with Martin Scharz in charge. They arrived in Ireland on 5 May. King Henry was informed of this and began to gather troops. Simnel's army mainly Irish troops landed in Lancashire on 5 June 1487 and were joined by some English supporters. They clashed with the King's army on 16 June at the Battle of Stoke Field and were defeated. Simon avoided execution due to his priestly status but was imprisoned for life. King Henry took Simnel under his wings and gave him a job in the royal kitchen.

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The threat by Simnel wasn’t that strong although he did gain quite a bit of support. He attracted the attention of Margeret of Burgundy, who actually lied for him. He although gained the recognition of the Earl of Kildare who crowned him as King Edward VI. This doesn’t just show that he gained support easily but that people seemed to want Henry off of the throne. The threat also only lasted about 1 year which shows that Henry had dealt with him and moved on very quickly. The Battle of Stoke onlt lasted about 3 hours which says a ...

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