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The Reigns of Edward V. and Richard III.

and murder of Edward

1483. EDWARD IV. left two sons, Edward the Prince of Coronation Wales 12 years and 5 months old, and Richard Duke

od of York about nine years of age. Edward was im

mediately proclaimed King at Ludlow: but his short reign or rather interregnum of two months and twelve days, was terminated in the murder of these two brothers by their inhuman uncle, Richard the IIId. His detestable reign, which lasted but two years two months and four days, ended by his death at the battle of Bosworth Field, where Henry Tudor Earl of Richmond afterwards Henry VII, gained both the victory and the crown. This was the thirteenth and last battle fought between the houses of York and Lancaster. It put an end to those bloody contests, in which above a hundred thousand men and

eighty princes of the blood lost their lives.' Detestable Richard, who had waded to the throne through reign, and death of ... blood and treachery, was too busily engaged in mainRichard III.

taining the fruits of his usurpation at home, to be able to lend his mind to the preservation or improvement of Ireland. He continued Gerald Earl of Kildare in the government of that country, who first acted as deputy to Edward the King's son, then as deputy to De la Pole Earl of Lincoln. Some few insignificant statutes passed during this reign ; but no event 1485. occurred sufficiently memorable to be noticed affecting either the lords of the pale or the native dynasts. The fall of Richard at Bosworth happened on the 22d of August, 1485.


The Reign of Henry VII.


1485. HENRY VII. immediately after the battle of BosHenry VII. worth was proclaimed King by acclamation on the field, downichon when the Lord Stanley placed the crown of Richard on Bosworth Field,

his head, in confirmation of that popular or military election. This was further ratified by a solemn corona. tion on the 30th of October following. . Yet this politic prince, not satisfied with this title to the crown, though allied to the house of Lancaster, procured an act of parliament to supply all defects of legal title, and then married Elizabeth daughter of Edward whom, as heir to the house of York, the hereditary claim to the crown really existed. These accumulated rights probably induced Henry to affect a general system of reconci. liation, and well knowing the strong prejudice of the Irish in favor of the house of York, and sensible of their susceptibility of any impression, that would coun. tenance their native turbulence, he found it political at first not to irritate the prevailing faction by remov

ing them too hastily from power. All officers To the astonishment of both parties, the Earl of in Ireland Kildare was continued lord deputy, his brother Thomas continued

lord chancellor, and all the officers of state and the privy council remained without change or addition. This policy of the King served but to increase the in

of state


as or

solence of the Yorkists. His coldness to the Queen 1486. and marked harshness to the opposite party in England, roused the sympathies of the Yorkists in Ireland, and that kingdom soon became pointed out as a place of political intrigue. The Earl of Kildare in particular was considered a person, from whom eminent danger might be apprehended. Henry was alarmed, and commanded the earl to repair to England, under pretence of consulting with him about the state of his Irish interests. But Kildare seeing the design, summoned the lords of the pale, and prevailed upon them to address the King to suspend his mandate, till the earl could convene á parliament to settle points of the highest state necessity. The King was or affected to be satisfied. Amongst the various attempts to disturb the reign- Lambert

Simnel. ing monarch, the first was to impose upon the public a youth of a comely and princely appearance, by name Lambert Simnel, who had been selected and tutored for this purpose by Richard Simon a priest of Oxford, enthusiastically devoted to the interests of the house of York. A rumor was purposely set afloat, that Richard the younger son of Edward IV. was still alive, and Simnel was first prepared to assume the character of this prince. A new report however prevailing, that the Earl of Warwick the son of the late Duke of Clarence, who had been born in the castle of Dublin, had just escaped from the Tower, Simnel was instructed to personate this earl, who was nearer to his own age. But to avoid any


Simnel's arrival in




untoward accident, which might produce detection, the first scene of this adventure was laid in Ireland.

Simnel and his attendant arrived in Dublin, where the youth presented himself to the lord deputy, as the son of Clarence, and inveighing with great plausibility against the usurpation of the Earl of Richmond, demanded protection for a prince of the blood royal, and rightful heir to the crown of England. The deputy, who was probably not unprepared for this scene, spread abroad, that the Earl of Warwick was arrived at Dublin, without any further circumstance. The people of Dublin instantly declared in his favor; and their example was followed by all the nation except the citizens of Waterford, the prelates of Cashel, Tuam, Clogher, and Ossory, the family of Butler, and the baron of Hoath, who were unable to defend the interests of the reigning prince against the popular contagion. They dispatched however emissaries to inform the King of the commotions in Ireland. Kildare summoned his council, which admitted the evidence of Simnel's claim, who accordingly was treated as sovereign, and in a few days solemnly proclaimed King, by the name of Edward the Sixth.

Kildare immediately followed up this first step with a peremptory summons to the citizens of Waterford to proclaim the new King. They returned an indignant answer; and Kildare ordered the messenger to be hanged. The summon was repeated with menaces of exemplary vengeance, and answered by open defiance and avowed determination to support the refusal by force of arms, Henry took the alarm; and to defeat


Simnel crowned.

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