King Henry VII (1485-1509)
Lambert Simnel : Henry VII must decide how to deal with a boy calling himself ‘King Edward VI’.
Lambert Simnel

Based on ‘Young Folks’ History of England’ by Charlotte Mary Yonge.

Ever since 1455, the Royal dynasties of Lancaster and York had been vying for the crown in the ‘Wars of the Roses’. Then in 1485, Welsh outsider Henry Tudor (Lancaster) defeated King Richard III (York) at Bosworth near Leicester, and set himself to draw a line under thirty years of strife.

AFTER plucking the English crown from that famous hawthorn at Bosworth in 1485, Henry VII could afford to feel secure. He was not particularly liked, but the country was weary of civil war, and his best-qualified rival, Richard III’s nephew Edward, Earl of Warwick, was a mere boy, locked up in the Tower.

Henry was therefore surprised to hear that Edward had been crowned King in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, and had even dared to land in England with an army. But that was mainly a rabble of Irishmen and Flemish mercenaries hired by Edward’s aunt Margaret, Richard III’s sister,* and easily overcome near Newark on 16th June, 1487.*

On being questioned, the captured ‘King’ proved to be Lambert Simnel,* a ten-year-old lookalike groomed for the role by Yorkists and his ambitious tutor, Fr Richard Simon. Fortunately, it pleased Henry’s humour to put him to work in the kitchens at Windsor, and subsequently in the mews. He married, and his son Richard became a clergyman.

* Margaret of York was dowager Duchess of Burgundy, and the sister of both Edward IV and Richard III. Their brother George, 1st Duke of Clarence, was the real Edward’s father.

* The battle took place at the Nottinghamshire village of Stoke, not to be confused with the major industrial city in Staffordshire.

* The convention is to call him Lambert Simnel but contemporary accounts called him John.

Based on ‘Young Folks’ History of England’ by Charlotte Mary Yonge.

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Picture: © Christine Matthews, Geograph. Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0. View original
A peregrine falcon at the Old Barn, Tackley, near Kidlington in Oxfordshire. Lambert Simnel was given a job caring for the royal falcons by Henry VII, who realised that he was merely a tool in the hands of his enemies. Today, falconry is a sport, a tourist attraction and a professional pest-control solution for sports venues and other large public areas, including the All-England Tennis Club in Wimbledon.
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Based on an account by Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)

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