Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Claims of Lancaster and York

With the Wars of the Roses period more popular than ever, it only makes sense to explain the actual claims to the throne of the warring sides, Lancaster and York. Who had the better claim? Eh, I guess that's up to you but I always say Lancaster! :) So then, let's explain Lancaster's (the rightful house after all) claim first then, shall we?

Rose of Lancaster
Lancaster's claim to the throne:  The hose of Lancaster, traces their royal descent from king Edward III, but through his third surviving son, John of Gaunt. The first monarch of the house of Lancaster, Henry IV, was named heir after Richard II abdication. Overlooking of course, the line of Lionel of Clarence (which York hails from on the female side) but that didn't matter. After all, Henry IV was named heir thus, his line became superior. They also had some royal blood from Henry IV's mother, Blanche of Lancaster. Blanche, herself had royal blood in her from King Henry III's line. So that where Henry VI and Edward of Lancaster got their claim to the throne.

But what about the lancastrian, Henry Tudor? His claim came from his mother, Margaret Beaufort (though his grandfather, Owen Tudor, was said to have come from the line of Welsh royals, but that didn't account for much) Margaret Beaufort was the daughter of John Beaufort. This John Beaufort was the son of another John Beaufort who was an illegitimate son of John of Gaunt (as I mentioned above, John of Gaunt is the third surviving son of Edward III) Even though the Beauforts were legitimized by Richard II, some didn't take their claim seriously. So really Henry VII got quite lucky in taking the throne, since his claim was rather slim.

Rose of York
York's claim to the throne: Richard Duke of York, as the main member of the house of York trying to claim the throne, was the son of Anne Mortimer and her husband Richard earl of Cambridge (who's elder brother was duke of York) Anne Mortimer is descended from the Mortimer line, which means she's descends from the daughter of John of Gaunt's older brother, Lionel of Clarence. (her name was Philippa by the way) As for Richard of Cambridge, he was descended from Edmund of York, a younger brother of John of Gaunt. Sadly women could not inherit the throne and female claims came second in the line of succession. Thus, Richard duke of York's only claim could come through Edmund of York. But any of York's descends use this claim.

Just a side note, Richard of York's wife of Cecily Neville who, had some Beaufort blood in her too. But seeing as her royal blood comes Joan Beaufort, the youngest Beaufort child and a girl at that it didn't really count for anything.

So there's the claim from the warring sides of the Wars of the Roses, Lancaster and York. Hope that clears up any confusion if there ever had any :)

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