Posts Tagged ‘Tudor dynasty’

The Tenuous Tudors

Posted in General on August 22nd, 2008 by Eugene Finerman – 1 Comment

On this day in 1485, Henry Tudor Sr. ascended to the English throne–climbing a few corpses on the way.

Prior to the victory at Bosworth Field, the Tudor family crest might have been a leek with a bar sinister. In other words, the Tudors were Welsh bastards. They were related to Henry VI through his mother’s indiscretions with a Welsh knight. (The widow of Henry V was bored and French–so what else could you expect?) Henry VI made his half-brother Edmund the Earl of Richmond. In the Tudors’ further social ascent, Edmund married Margaret Beaufort who was the heiress of John of Gaunt’s illegitimate family with his favorite mistress. They had a boy named Henry; he later earned himself the VII.

However Margaret and her descendants also were technically barred from the throne. But they were all that was left of the Lancasters. Henry IV had four sons and only one grandchild: Henry VI. He didn’t survive the War of the Roses; neither did his alleged son. (The wife of Henry VI was also bored and French–and impatient as well.)

For lack of a legitimate alternative, the Welsh half-nephew/half-second cousin was all that the Lancastrians could scrounge. As the current Prince Edward described his ancestor’s lineage, “Henry VII’s claim to the throne was tenuous beyond belief.”