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his marriage with Elizabeth. For the right was in her, not in him. This title, therefore, was disagreeable to Henry, although he knew that the claim of the princess would prove the firmest support of his throne. He, consequently, proceeded with cautious and measured steps, and he watched all the proceedings in parliament with the most scrupulous solicitude. To weaken her claim would be to undermine his own interest; to confirm it would encourage a suspicion that he was conscious of a defect in his title.* He, therefore, immediately assumed the royal dignity without mentioning his intended marriage; when he was crowned, the heiress of York (who had in the meantime been removed from Sheriff-Hutton Castle to the Tower), was not allowed to have any part in the ceremony; and in the act of settlement which passed through parliament, no mention was made of Elizabeth and her heirs; but it was enacted, that “the inheritance of the crown should be, rest, remain, and abide in the" King and "the heirs of his body lawfully coming." Henry thus acknowledged a parliamentary title, like his ancestor Henry IV.; but in the next year (1486) he procured a papal bull, which recited and confirmed all his titles, by descent, by marriage, by conquest, and by parliamentary establishment.†
4. His Enemies, and the Dangers which Threatened him. Although the Wars of the Roses had terminated, and the rival claims of the two houses had become amicably adjusted by the accession of Henry, and his marriage with Elizabeth (January 14th, 1486), there yet existed many conspicuous leaders of the House of York who were dissatisfied with the arrangements which had been effected. Before his death, Richard III. had named his nephew, John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln, the son of his John de la sister the Duchess of Suffolk, to be his successor. Henry of Lincoln. treated his pretensions with contempt, but Lincoln was, nevertheless, a troublesome rival. There was another prince, however, whom the King viewed with peculiar jealousy, Edward Edward Plantagenet, son of the late Duke of Clarence, whom Plantage. Edward IV. had created Earl of Warwick. Richard had Warwick. feared him as a rival, and had placed him in Sheriff-Hutton Castle, whence he was removed to the Tower by Henry. This unfortunate youth had been the victim of perpetual imprisonment from his childhood, and was now in his fifteenth year. Personally, he was not, and never would be, dangerous to the new dynasty; for long confinement had destroyed his intellect: but his name became the party cry of Lambert Simnel's rebellion.
* Lingard, V., 276.
+ Hume, III., 310.
But the most untiring and relentless of Henry's foes was Margaret, Margaret, the Duchess of Burgundy, the widow of Charles Burgundy. the Bold, and the sister of Edward IV. She was & princess, says Bacon, who had "the spirit of a man, and the malice of a woman;" she lived in good state, in the Netherlands, having sovereign authority in the district which her husband had left her as a dower; and she made it the chief end of her life to endeavour, as much as ever she could, to overthrow the government of the Tudor, and replace her own House of York on the throne. The first attempt which was made at her instigation
5. Simnel's Rebellion, and Impersonation of the Earl of Warwick. The birth of a prince in 1486 urged the enemies of Henry to make this attempt. Soon after his coronation he had, like his predecessors, made a royal progress through the kingdom; and while he was keeping the festival of Easter at Lincoln, Lord Lovell, and Humphrey and Thomas Stafford, suddenly Rebellion. escaped from their sanctuary at Colchester, and, gathering their followers, rapidly followed the King into Yorkshire, intending to surprise him as he entered the city of York. But the rebels were immediately dispersed, and Lovell escaped to the court of the Dowager Duchess of Burgundy, where he remained till the rising in favour of Simnel was made. Lambert Sulford, or Simnel, was the son of an Oxford carpenter, and being a comely youth, not without dignity and grace, was trained both in knowledge and manners, by a subtle priest of Oxford, named Richard Symmonds, to personate the Earl of Warwick. The project of setting up a candidate for the crown, under a false name and pretensions, was one which would occur to many in that age of revolutions, when in the midst of the almost general massacre of the royal family, it was not improbable that some of that house, then merely children, might have been withdrawn from the doom of their kindred by the attachment, or common humanity, of some of their adherents.*
At first it was reported that the young Earl of Warwick had perished in the Tower; and then Simnel was produced in Ireland, by his tutor, as the very earl so lately reported to have been murdered. Kildare, the Lord Deputy of Ireland, welcomed him; and he was proclaimed, in Dublin, by the title of Edward VI. How the Yorkists could justify this proceeding it is impossible to say; for the Earl of Warwick had no pretension to the crown during the lives of his uncle Edward's daughters. The in Ireland. whole affair, therefore, seems to have been got up for the
* Mackintosh, II., 72.
primary purpose of causing confusion, and ascertaining the state of feeling among the partizans of York; and Ireland was chosen, because the Yorkists had always been a strong party in the island ever since the government of Richard, Duke of York, in the reign of Henry VI. As soon as he heard of Kildare's proceedings, Henry published a general amnesty, without any restrictions or reservations; and he brought forth the real earl from the Tower, and paraded him through the streets of London, for public recognition. On suspicion of being concerned in the plot, the queen dowager was banished from court, and confined in Bermondsey Abbey. The insurgent party, however, continued to gather strength; and John, Earl of Lincoln, though he had continued to attend Henry's councils during the early part of the insurrection, and had often conversed with the Earl of Warwick since Simnel's assumption of that nobleman's title, at last joined the impostor; and with him were united Lord Lovell, and a body of Germans, under Martin Swarts, sent by the Duchess of Burgundy. With this accession of strength, Simnel, Lincoln, and others, landed near the pile of Foudrey, in Furness, Lancashire, where Sir Thomas Broughton joined them. But they received no further support, and when they met the royal army, at Stoke (June 16th, 1487), they The Battle were easily defeated, their leaders slain, and Simnel and of Stoke. the priest taken prisoners. The impostor was treated with contemptuous compassion, and made a turnspit in the royal kitchen. Thus ludicrously ended a revolt, absurd in its plan, unintelligible in some of its circumstances, and which was suffered to keep up a faint existence for a longer period than its vital powers seemed to be capable of preserving it. The insurrection, however, taught the King the important lesson, that it was not his interest to wound the feelings of those who, while they supported him, were still attached, by their principles, to the House of York. He, therefore, caused the Queen to be crowned, to silence the murmurs of these partisans; he brought her forward on all future occasions of parade; and to show a disposition still more gracious, he restored to liberty the Marquis of Dorset, whom he had imprisoned in the beginning of the rebellion, lest he should resent the injury done to his mother, the queen dowager.
6. Warbeck's Rebellion, and Impersonation of the Duke of York. For the next six years the throne of Henry was unmolested, save by a slight insurrection in the north against the levy of an imposition for the support of the war against France. But in 1493 occurred another attempt of the same general nature as Simnel's * Mackintosh, II., 75. + Hume, III., 343.
Warbeck's in Burgun
rebellion, though certainly very different in tone and temper. A pretender to the royal dignity appeared in Ireland, who asserted himself to be Richard Duke of York, the younger brother of Edward V. He gave no information concerning the murder of his elder brother or of his own preservation, and neither he nor his friends ever attempted to explain the cause of his total ignorance of the circumstances connected with the imprisonment of the princes in the Tower. The fact of his claiming the throne shows that the Yorkists believed Edward V. to be dead; but why they should believe this, and also believe that the Duke of York was alive, and yet be wholly unacquainted with every particular concerning the fate of the former prince, is altogether unintelligible. The only explanation is, that the new Duke of York was an impostor; but whether this was the fact or not, will perhaps never be clearly known. He seems to have been first heard of at the court of the Duchess of Burgundy, who caused him to be trained in the part she destined him to act, and after that sent him to Portugal, whence he sailed to Ireland. The Earl reception of Kildare, however, was more cautious this time, and dy & France Warbeck, finding his welcome not so hearty as he had expected, went over to France at the invitation of Charles VIII., with whom Henry was then at war, and to whom every pretender to the English crown was an instrument of the utmost consequence. But after the treaty of Estaples, the French King expelled the adventurer from France, and he was received by the Duchess of Burgundy as her long lost nephew, and styled by her "The White Rose of England." For some time Henry was perplexed; but he spared neither money nor pains to unravel the mystery; and the Yorkists were equally active. They sent Sir Robert Clifford to ascertain whether the pretender were a true prince or not. He reported that he was; but Henry's messengers said that he was one Perkin Warbeck, a native of Tournay, who had formerly been servant to a Christian Jew in England, whom Edward IV. had adopted as his godson. The confession which Warbeck afterwards made, set forth that his father's name was John Osbeck, comptroller of the town of Tournay. The intrigues which were carried on by both parties, in this mysterious affair, were most extraordinary: the spies employed by one party sold themselves to the other; and by bribes Henry brought over Clifford to his services, so that by his information many English gentlemen were executed for corresponding with the impostor. The fate of some
See "Documents Relating to Perkin Warbeck," by Sir Fred. Madden; also Knight's Popular Hist., II., 222.
of Sir Wm.
of these was very mysterious, and especially that of Sir Execution William Stanley, lord chamberlain, and brother to the Stanley. Earl of Derby. Clifford charged him with the treason of abetting the rebels abroad by a treasonable correspondence with them; he is said to have confessed the crime, and was executed February 15th, 1494. According to Bacon, whose bias is generally in favour of the King, the chief motives to this execution were: the services of Stanley, which were too high for reward; his great power, which made Henry fear for his own safety in such dangerous times; but especially the extensive estates of Stanley, who was one of the richest men in England.
These executions and confiscations struck terror into the Yorkists, and as Henry almost destroyed the trade of the Flemings, by removing the mart for English wool from Antwerp to Calais, Warbeck at the end of three years was compelled to quit the court of his reputed aunt. In 1496 Henry concluded a great treaty of commerce between England and the Netherlands," to which, besides the commercial clauses, there was appended a provision that Philip, the Archduke of Austria, and Duke of Burgundy, should not permit the dowager duchess to aid or harbour the King's rebels, but should deprive her of her dominions if she acted in opposition to this engagement. Warbeck, there- Warbeck fore, sailed to Cork; he had in the previous year made an Burgundy unsuccessful descent upon the coast of Kent, near Deal; Scotland. he now met with similar success in Ireland. He therefore passed to Scotland, where the King, James IV., received him with welcome, and gave to him in marriage his near relation, the Lady Catherine Gordon, daughter of the Earl of Huntley. Twice did the Scots invade England in the pretender's behalf, but in vain; and James and Henry becoming friendly after a time, Warbeck was obliged to leave Scotland. In the meantime a tax The great had been levied in most of the English counties for the rebellion, purpose of raising forces to repel the Scottish invasion; but the Cornishmen, excited by one Flammock, an attorney, and Joseph, a farrier, flew to arms, and refused to pay their money for an object which it was pretended did not concern them, but the natives of the northern counties. Being joined by Lord Audley, at Wells, they marched through Salisbury and Winchester into Kent, led by that nobleman, and turning towards London, encamped on Blackheath, in sight of the capital. Here they were defeated by a strong royalist force under Lord Daubeny, the chamberlain, and the Earl of Oxford (June 24th, 1497). Warbeck, driven again from Cork after his departure from Scotland, resolved