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lady of hay 07-02-2010 03:14 AM

Richard III and the Battle of Bosworth: A "What If?"
Does anyone have any thoughts on what would have happened had Richard, not Henry Tudor , won the battle of Bosworth in 1485 ?

Tony Robinson did an interesting programme called "Englands real royal family", about who they think should be ruling the country.

However this programme was based on the assumption that Edward IV was illigitimate and the fact that Richard had lost at Bosworth.
I would be interested to know what other members opinions are:smile:

Lumutqueen 07-02-2010 04:12 AM

We shouldn't look at the past and go What if?
What happened, happened.
We can't imagine what will have happened if Richard had won the battle.

Warren 07-02-2010 05:25 AM


Originally Posted by lumutqueen
We shouldn't look at the past and go What if?

Why not? Richard III's defeat by Henry Tudor was a major turning point in English history and therefore the "what if?" question is perfectly legitimate.
It may encourage those members with a knowledge of the period to offer their views and create an interesting discussion. This is what we are - a discussion forum.

Lumutqueen 07-02-2010 05:26 AM

I just don't think we should look at the past and go what if?
I don't see the point, what happened happened, we can't change it so why talk about it?

Warren 07-02-2010 05:31 AM

If you don't wish to participate in the discussion in a constructive manner then please stand aside and allow other members to do so.

Vecchiolarry 07-02-2010 12:00 PM


Well, Richard would have had to kill or have killed Henry Tudor and his relatives.
He would have had to marry again and have children.
And then, govern wisely & well or there would have been others barking at his door!


Zonk 07-02-2010 01:14 PM

Well I am not sure about the governing wisely but I definitely believe that of Richard had defeated Henry at the Battle of Bosworth, the possiblity exists of another English Civil War. Henry wouldn't have gone away quitely.

But it does make you think...if Henry hadn't become King, you wouldn't have Henry VIII, not all of those wives, certainly not the English Reformation, or the Glorious reign of Elizabeth I. And poor Margaret Pole most likely would have died from old age.

lady of hay 07-02-2010 01:53 PM


Originally Posted by Warren (Post 1105679)
If you don't wish to participate in the discussion in a constructive manner then please stand aside and allow other members to do so.

Warren , I am really greatful for this comment.
It was my intention to provoke some kind of debate on this matter other than the usual who is wearing what. I had hoped that this forum might have been the place for it.
I am not as they say "throwing my teddy out of the pram", as someone who has done high level academic work ,I am used to criticism, but I feel that these forums may not be the place for someone like myself who is interested in the more academic aspect of royal history.
If what is past is past , then why so many posts about Diana, the late Princess of Wales?

Osipi 07-02-2010 02:51 PM


Originally Posted by lady of hay (Post 1105860)
It was my intention to provoke some kind of debate on this matter other than the usual who is wearing what. I had hoped that this forum might have been the place for it.

As much as all of the forums on the British Royal Family are very interesting for me to read, I do have to admit the British Royal History fascinates me. I may not know enough to post and debate on the topics but I sure do love reading them.

Vasillisos Markos 07-02-2010 06:04 PM

Wouldn't Richard III have to answer about the royal princes in the tower? I mean, with his death on the field and Henry VII marrying the sister of the imprisoned princes, the matter sort of went away but I think if Richard had been victorious, there might have been a demand for explanation once peace ruled throughout the land.

Zonk 07-02-2010 06:15 PM

But didn't Henry marry Elizabeth after the battle? Or am I thinking Elizabeth and Edward IV?

Vasillisos Markos 07-02-2010 06:59 PM

Yes, Henry married Elizabeth after he became King but he pledged to marry her before becoming King.

Iluvbertie 07-02-2010 07:20 PM

Richard wasn't being asked about the princes at the tmie so why would that have changed. and by the law of the land they had been declared illegitimate so he really had no question to answer on that score.

Most people in the north say he ruled wisely there and even in his short reign did so so saying that he would rule wisely and well based on the available evidence is something I believe he would have done. He certainly would have had to remarry but I am not totally sure he would have married Elizabeth (although she was a good choice but officially illegitimate and there would still be Lancastrians seeking the throne.) He would have needed to find a suitable Lancastrian heiress to make his queen I think. He would certainly have had to kill Henry Tudor and the leading supporters of that usurper.

As for the Reformation we don't know but I suspect it would still have happened - just with a different trigger as it was about power in England as much as a divorced. We wouldn't have had the Stuarts though and that could easily see Scotland and England developing as two separate nations to this day and no British Empire (maybe a small English one and even a small Scottish one but not the Great British one that developed.) Australia would probably be French speaking not English (for those who don't know how close that was to happening the French had an explorer here to claim this land only a week or so after Philip arrived with the First Fleet to invade the country).

lady of hay 07-04-2010 06:33 AM

Richard indeed was never asked about the fate of the two princes . Elizabeth Woodville, the boys mother , would not, I believe have let things lie if she had suspected that they were dead. Richard was not,I believe ever accused of this crime during his lifetime ,only later by so called Tudor propogandists.

Richard not marring Elizabeth of York because of her illigitimacy provokes another interesting question. Why did Henry Tudor marry her, or wasn't he so picky ? If in order to marry Elizabeth , Henry had to legitimise her he would have automaticaly made the elder of the two boys Edward V . A possible motive for murder surely ?

It is interesting to note that following the death of Lady Eleanor Butler, with whom Edward IV was said to be pre contracted, he and Elizabeth Woodville could have married again . This would have made their children ligitimate. Did Edward think that the matter would just "go away " Elizabeth Woodville certainly did not know about the pre contract as she was as suprised as anyone on hearing the news.

Henry Tudor married Elizabeth of York, but she was not crowned queen untill 1487, after the birth of their first child, Henry presumably wanting to make sure she could fulfil the Woodville side of the bargain.
Elizabeth Woodville did not even attend her own daughters coronation, and spent the last five years of her life in a convent, having been part of a plot to overthrow her son-in-law Henry Tudor (VII).

Anyone reading this who wishes to know more about this period in history may find the following books usefull

The Daughter of Time by Josphine Tay, a work of fiction but it brought about my interest in the period ,and although published in the 1950's it is still available
Good King Richard ? by Jeremy Potter, this may now be out of print but is worth tracking down at your local library.

and finally Elizabeth Woodville by David Baldwin a good well balanced portrait.

Vasillisos Markos 07-04-2010 01:57 PM

Henry VII married Elizabeth in order to strengthen his claim to the throne because now his children were descended from her father who had been rightful and acknowledged as a King of England.

EleanorOfAquitaine 07-08-2010 10:27 AM

What a pitty, that Richard III falls...otherwise there maybe were no Henry VIII, who was a really worst King.
but what happend to the son of Richard III after the battle?
I read, that he had in his marriage one son.

Lumutqueen 07-08-2010 11:35 AM

Edward of Middleham, Prince Of Wales was Richard's only legitamate child.
He died in 1484.
Edward of Middleham, Prince of Wales - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Battle of Bosworth happened in 1485.

Humfrey 07-09-2010 12:43 PM

Edward IV was legitimate - there is no evidence otherwise. He was almost certainly premature and his baptism was rushed. His brother Richard III remained entirely loyal to him while he was alive.

Iluvbertie 07-09-2010 08:08 PM

The question with regard to Edward IV being legitimate has never really been the question. A child is legitimate is born to a married couple and the father accepts the child as his but....there is a question about his paternity. However, if a father accepts the child I don't see why anyone should be questioning that this many years later (it is the same with people questioning Harry's paternity - legally Charles is his father and personally I believe that he is biologically as well but there are many that don't but ...)

lady of hay 07-11-2010 10:30 AM

Many years ago, almost 30 , a friend of mine , a medievalist who had studied the "war of the roses" and who sadly is no longer with us, told me that we should not seek to judge the actions of the men of that time by the standards of our own. He said that as we do not live in their times we should not seek to judge at all.

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