Henry the Eighth: An Imposter with No Claim to the Throne

Topics: Henry VII of England, Wars of the Roses, House of Plantagenet Pages: 5 (1924 words) Published: October 23, 2010
1. ‘Henry VII was an imposter with no real claim to the throne’

Historians may agree or disagree that Henry Tudor an imposter with little or no claim to the throne of England and Wales. I am going to investigate and discuss the issue by identifying information from relevant sources and look at evidence which either supports or disagrees with the above statement. I am going to talk about the marriage of Elizabeth and Henry, the battle of Bosworth, his rights to be heir and various acts he positioned on the nobility.

Henry, later named and known as Henry Tudor was the second son of Edmund Tudor earl of Richmond and Margaret Beaufort. He was born in Pembroke castle on the 28th January 1457. Margaret was the great- grand daughter of John of gaunt who was crowned king of England and Wales in 1372. This noble and just ancestor made the family consider Henry as being the future leader of the house of Lancaster. There were two families that both thought they were the rightful successors to the crown. These families were the Yorkists and the Lancastrians. For many years of Henry’s life and after the Lancastrians were defeated in a bloody battle in Tewksbury, Henry was taken to Brittany to seek refuge.

Richard III the Yorkist was the last king of the house of York and believed that he and the other Yorkists should hold the throne. His older brother king Edward IV who reigned between 1461 and 1483 was replaced by Richard when parliament recognised he should be the one to take the throne.

Even though during some years Henry had been regarded as the heir to the house of Lancaster by attachments to his family the house itself was considered to be very ‘ very-ill founded’. Henry IV who had first raised the claim to succession never defined its royal foundations; ‘Henry IV, who had first raised it to royal dignity, had never clearly defined the foundation of its claim’. In addition to this he did not recognise or acknowledge the election of the people. Margaret, Henry’s mother was truly the heir of the duke of Summerset who was her father which was brought by John of gaunt duke of Lancaster. However the summerset line was supposedly illegitimate. The duke of Lancaster obtained a patent or deed of his natural approved children by Richard II. Parliament confirmed their doubts of his deed to any title of the throne because all the privileges are confirmed one by one and the successor to the crown are excluded. ‘Fully enumerated and succession to the kingdom is expressively excluded’. To add to this all settlements of the crown were made during the reign of the Lancastrians, and the summersets even though believed to be mostly illegitimate were overlooked. This was because Henry procured all of his rights to the throne from his mother who unfortunately for him would be next in the order of succession. This makes the statement of Henry having no real claim to the throne to be true. (All the above quotes are from www.lesleyiris.com)

If we look at the family tree we can see that Henry Tudor was the descendent of the second son of John of gaunt duke of Lancaster. In normal circumstances only the first son of the king would rule due to closer ancestral relations. This in effect would support the claims that Henry was indeed an imposter and should therefore not be crowned king. Henry was overlooked because John Beaufort didn’t have a son. If john did possess a son then Henry would undoubtedly be entitled to the throne. However even though Henry wasn’t of direct descendents he was still related to john of gaunt through his mother. He is therefore still of possible noble birth. Also John of gaunt is the son of Edward III.

While Richard was being crowned king the war of the roses was still taking place and had done for the past few years. Henry Tudor of the Lancastrians travelled to Wales and arrived with, ‘2000 of his supporters. He also brought with him 2,000 mercenaries recruited from French prisons’. He also persuaded...
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