He was nearly captured and handed over to the Edward IV on one occasion, but managed to escape to the court of France — who backed his expedition to England and his bid for the throne. He did not marry Elizabeth until after his coronation, which underlined that he ruled in his own right. However he hoped the marriage would satisfy some of the less extreme Yorkists and lead to their acceptance of a Tudor king. The marriage took place on 18th January at Westminster Abbey.
They would go on to have a large family, with 4 children — including the future Henry VIII — surviving to adulthood. Eventually Warbeck was hanged and Warwick was beheaded. The great heroes of the past most gloriously, Henry V had led their countrymen to battle over those claims; thousands of Englishmen died in those battles. By painting Henry as a traitor to one of the most precious English dreams that of possessing France , Richard hoped to appeal to English patriotism.
21 April - The Death of Henry VII - The Tudor Society
He also attended to more practical matters — ordering sheriffs to prepare troops for muster and raise cash for military payments. In other words, they would simply wait out the conflict without openly supporting either party. And that is exactly what most of the country did. Personally, I do not believe Richard III murdered his nephews but, of course, the mystery will always remain open to interpretation.
Can we blame this on Shakespeare? Richard was a capable and intelligent man and — whatever the truth about his nephews — had far more experience in government thhan Henry Tudor. He also reacted to betrayal with an appealing mixture of punishment and forgiveness; he was far more conciliatory than, say, Henry VIII. Of course, these domestic actions were accompanied by foreign policy initiatives designed to find Richard prominent allies.
In this, he was successful as well. One of the specific points of the truce was that neither side would support rebellion against the other, thus allying Richard and Duke Francis against the French throne. So he encouraged Henry Tudor to hasten his plans to invade England. Henry, whom Elizabeth Woodville and Margaret Beaufort intended to wed Elizabeth, was upset but could do little. Around July , Stanley asked permission to visit relative in Lancashire. The king was no fool; he allowed Stanley to leave London but kept his son and heir, George, Lord Strange, as hostage.
When news came that Richard might marry Elizabeth of York, Henry became frantic. He cast about for another prominent Yorkist bride, with little success. More importantly, with the support of Philippe de Commynes, an influential diplomat Henry pressed Charles to request money from the French parliament. The French king did so on 4 May and was successful; he returned with Henry to Paris about a month later.
Already, plans to assemble an invasion fleet were being approved.
10 Facts About Henry VII – the First Tudor King
At Harfleur, near the mouth of the River Seine, Henry spent about livres to assemble men. Henry placed these men under the command of Richard Guildford. On 7 August, they sailed into Milford Sound near sunset. They actually landed at Mill Bay, inside the Sound. This was the land of Pembrokeshire where Henry had been imprisoned as a young man.
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No one who actually fought at the battle recorded the battle; typically, the chroniclers from London recorded great events but they were far from the action in And there is another very important fact — medieval battles are incredibly confusing to describe just as they were confusing to fight.
Imagine a Revolutionary War battle — the British soldiers in matching red coats, marching in perfect cadence to a fixed point, they shoot, reload and aim with some degree of consistency. Medieval warfare did not proceed along those lines. In general, it was chaotic and confusing to the participants — and the chroniclers. Of course, his version is the official Tudor account but we must rely upon it. In most respects, Vergil had little reason to alter anything since the Tudor claimant was victorious.
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There they spent the night; the next day 8 August they left Dale to a castle called Haverfordwest, about 12 miles to the north-east. The townsmen actually welcomed the invaders, an indication of their nebulous loyalty to Richard III. Henry may have been in touch with the Stanleys immediately upon landing in Wales.
Oddly enough, a letter Henry sent to another supporter, John ap Maredudd ab Ieuan ap Mareddud, has survived; it was written about 8 August, immediately after the landing, and designed to gain Welsh support. The letter to ap Mareddud can be read by clicking here. What did ap Mareddud do? Of course, it was nowhere near as great as many later remembered. Certainly the Tudor dynasty in no way favored Wales or its native population — so any support from the Welsh was not rewarded.
In , in particular, the Welsh had good cause to resent any support they had given. After Bosworth, certain laudatory poems and songs were written — but as these were dedicated to an actual king than a pretender to the throne, they were naturally fawning. In reality, Henry did not receive a rapturous welcome. Of course, they had promised otherwise while he was in France but Richard III suspected both men of disloyalty — and before Henry landed, he made certain they understood the penalty of treason. With this crushing news, even the professed loyalty of Pembroke was small consolation.
Click here to read the letter to Kynaston.
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To get to this point, his force had marched through the mountains of Wales but they had the continual arrival of good news to cheer them on the lonely journey — supporters were marching to join them, bringing along much-needed supplies. Among these supporters was Rhys ap Thomas, who finally decided to honor his previous promise. They were in time to join Henry at Shrewsbury, the traditional gateway to the English midlands; they marched along the old Roman road even as supporters sent along money to pay the mercenary troops.
Shrewsbury was an important town and had two bailiffs, Roger Knight and Thomas Mitton, both in power for about two decades.
King Henry VII
The people of Shrewsbury had no desire for foreign troops to plunder and pillage their town. At a nearby village, he composed a letter to the bailiffs, promising that his men would simply march through Shrewsbury peacefully, without causing any damage or harm. He respected the oath of loyalty to Richard III and did not expect any of the townspeople to break it. The letter may not have swayed the bailiffs but the arrival of Rowland Warburton, a retainer of Sir William Stanley, arrived and persuaded the bailiffs to let Henry pass.
The Stanley support was impressive enough to sway even Mitton, who lay on the ground so Henry could step over his belly thus keeping his former oath. He realized, once again, that his support was not widespread. Indeed, in the end he relied upon the apathy of the English population — essentially their decision to not actively support Richard III. Shrewsbury was the first English town he marched through, a test of how the average citizen would respond to his invasion.
Since they did not recognize his claim to the throne, Henry had little to celebrate. In a way, his march was as much a public relations enterprise as a military endeavor. Everywhere he went, he attempted to drum up support — and he was often successful. More men and prominent lords joined the cause, all for various reasons.
In other words, Stanley was urging Henry to hurry if he wanted to reach the capital. Henry marched to meet Richard, stopping for the night at Lichfield; as at Shrewsbury, he kept his army outside the walls so as not to offend the citizens.
He did not dare meet with Henry Tudor, though he supported his claim. Ostensibly, Lord Stanley was loyal to Richard. Of course, promises can be easily broken and Henry was uneasy. He knew Richard had scouts watching Stanley and held his son hostage. Lord Stanley had arrived near Atherstone, close to the actual battlefield. On this Saturday 20 August, still!