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The Tudor Society

Henry VII and Richard III, A deadly rivalry – Sean Cunningham – Expert Talk

Dr Sean Cunningham joins us this month to discuss the two kings, Richard III and Henry VII and how they ended up being deadly rivals.

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  1. M /

    Very interesting! Thanks very much for taking the time to make your presentation. It was fascinating. Michelle t

  2. R /

    It’s very striking how much shared experience Henry Tudor and Richard iii had growing up. They both lost parents as children, both went through times of danger and exile and both had unsettled periods in which they were raised by others. However, the York restoration gave Richard authority, power, military experience and a settled life after the age of 18,_while Henry was in exile for 14 years. Their fates could not have been more different.

    Richard didn’t seize Edward V, he took lawful custody of him and had him receive the homages of the mayor and others. Richard had far fewer men than the men with Edward and its incorrect to say he seized him. Mancini spoke no English and is a dubious source. Richard needed more men because of insecurity fears in the capital and there were problems before he got there. His intentions are to be interpreted depending on who you read. Its as confusing now as it probably was in June 1483. The Cely fears, most of were not true show how confusing things probably were.

    Richard didn’t seize the throne, everyone agrees that he was offered the crown by the three estates of the realm. Even if he didn’t, with insecurity, no legitimate children of Edward iv and threatening invasion from France, he was the best man for the job. To be honest he probably was as he was a better King than most others before or afterwards.

    Henry Tudor was a usurper but he is never called one, which is a joke. He was not a bad King but he also suffered from many rebels and at least three pretenders. Henry has also been maligned to my thinking and its right both men are looked at in a balanced way.

    Excellent analysis. 1483 is a rush of both activities and confusion but Richard would have been successful had he lived. Good to see his good governance being emphasised as most people are not aware of these laws. The best memory to Richard is his charge at Bosworth and died a true hero and knight “fighting bravely in the midst of his enemies” .

    Henry was shrewd and patient and quite rightly took no chances. That probably was his best legacy. He married Elizabeth of York and provided himself with a number of heirs. He didn’t trust anyone, but he chose the men around him well and somehow negotiated his way to keep and secure his dynasty. Actually, I believe he was a better King than his son.

    Thanks again for your tremendous presentation.

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Henry VII and Richard III, A deadly rivalry – Sean Cunningham – Expert Talk