HOW SERIOUS WAS THE THREAT FROM LAMBERT SIMNEL AND PERKIN WARBECK

Lambert Simnel

  • No royal blood, imposter, 10 year old son of a joiner from Oxford = trained by priest Richard Simons, to act as if he were a royal prince
  • Earl of Warwick impersonated - Henry paraded real one through London
  • Margaret of Bundundy's help, Lovell and Pole able to raise support of 2000 German mercenaries, led by Martin Schwartz, sailed to Ireland
  • Ireland supported by nobility e.g. Earl of Kildare
  • Crowned Simnel as king in Dublin, launched invasion of England
  • Arrived June 1487 and marched south
  • Henry Percy - nothing to stop rebel army
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Henry's response

  • Lack of experience - trusted de la Pole = present at Council which met to discuss threat from Simnel (Feb 1487)
  • Henry ordered coasts to be guarded
  • Moved northwards and westwards, gathering men and supplies
  • 8th May, arrived at Kenilworth Castle = base - marched north to Stoke
  • Battle of Stoke - end of Wars of Roses
  • Germans more armed and more prepared than Irish - easy one sided fight in Henry's favour
  • John de la Pole and Schwartz - killed
  • Simnel - work in king's kitchens, became king's falconer
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How serious was this threat?

  • Simnel - puppet for de la Pole = better claim to throne
  • Highly serious threat = money for an army
  • Gained Irish supporters - help to invade England
  • Henry slow to realise threat from de la Pole - continued to trust in him until they had to fight in battle - more serious and dangerous
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How was Henry able to overcome threat?

  • Henry = decisive, more loyal support
  • Not supporters - Germans paid to fight
  • No support from North, Yorkist supporters based there
  • Used parliament to pass 28 Acts of Attainder against rebels
  • Court of Star Chamber - dealt with local disorder
  • Prepared to lead army himself
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Perkin Warbeck

  • 1491 - Warbeck emerged in Ireland at 17, made claim to be rightful king of England = Richard, Duke of York (Prince in Tower)
  • No way for Henry to disprove claim
  • Received support from several foreign rulers - put pressure on Henry
  • King of France, Margaret of Burgundy, King of Scotland, Holy Roman Emperor
  • Irish nobles less keen to support
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Challenge 1491-1495

  • Arrived in Cork late 1491 - mixed reception
  • Support unsuccessful, him and Earl of Desmond wrote letter to other European rulers, Charles VIII invited him to France in 1492
  • Moved to Burgundy, acceptance from Margaret, 'recognised' him as Richard
  • 1494-5 = Henry increasingly concerned by Warbeck
  • Agents from Burgundy able to inflitrate England, cases of men trying to recruit supporters, rounded up an trialled (1493-4)
  • Sir William Stanley - implicated in plot against Henry, March 1493 agreed with Sir Robert Clifford that Clifford would go to speak to Warbeck. Clifford informed Henry. January 1495, Stanley tried and convicted of treason, exectued in February.
  • July 1495 - Warbeck attempted to land in Deal, Kent with 300 soldiers, failed to get local support and so fled
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Challenge 1495-97

  • Moved to Scotland 
  • Tried to invade England with 1,400 men - unable to raise much support in north - retreated
  • 1497 - king forced to raise taxation to fund army to fight Warbeck - provoked rebellion in Cornwall in June - 15,000 men
  • Marched on London under level of taxation
  • Henry's troops met rebels in Blackheath, Kent, rebels defeated (around 1000 killed)
  • July 1497 - Warbeck left Scotland for Ireland, failed to get any supporters, went to Cornwall, landed in Land's End in September 1497
  • Army of 300 men, Cornish supporters = 3000-8000 supporters, driven out by soldiers
  • Went to Taunton - trapped by royal forces led by Giles Daubeney - Warbeck captured
  • Accepted into Henry's court and not formally imprisoned - tried to escape in June 1498
  • Arrested and put in Tower, frames to plot with Earl of Warwick - both tried and exectued in 1499
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How was Henry able to overcome threat?

  • On throne for 6 years - more secure on throne
  • Yorkist threat = former supporters died/accepted him
  • Built own dynasty representing both Yorkist and Lancastrians
  • Used children to create foreign alliances e.g. 1489 alliance with Spain - Treaty of Medina del Campo
  • More resources and power than Warbeck - not enough support
  • Too strong for Warbeck - had network of spies in 1490s
  • Use of parliament and rewards - loyal to Henry e.g. Edward Courtenay = huge loyalty, suppressed rebellion, enobled
  • Used weapon of Acts of Attainder to punish those who conspired with Warbeck - 24 men attained in parliament in 1495
  • Used system of bonds and recognisances to make his nobility obey - targeted suspects e.g. Thomas Grey, Marquis of Dorset, up to £10,000 recognisances, never took money = fear, cancelled in 1499
  • 1485-1509 - placed 36/62 noble families under financial control
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How serious was this threat?

  • Considerable challenge to Henry - some support from powers, under protection
  • Never able to raise substancial numbers
  • Serious threat in 1495 and 1496-7
  • Henry's stern response to potential threat posed by men probably deterred any potential plotters
  • Warbeck arrived earlierin Cornwall = more support
  • More prepared when Warbeck arrived - never managed to force Henry to fight in a pitched battle
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