In 1486 – just a year after Henry VII had killed Richard III at the battle of Bosworth and seized the crown - a young man claiming to be a Yorkist prince appeared to oust the usurper and reclaim the throne for the legitimate royal family.
Who was this boy?
One Tudor historian said he claimed to be Richard, Duke of York, younger of the ‘princes in the Tower’. Another wrote that he claimed to be Edward, Earl of Warwick, cousin of the ‘princes,’ and son of George, Duke of Clarence.
Some modern historians have suggested that he may really have been Edward V – the elder ‘prince in the Tower’.
Henry VII’s government officially announced that the boy was an imposter called Lambert Simnel, son of a craftsman from Oxford.
But late fifteenth-century Continental and Irish writers insisted that he was the genuine Earl of Warwick.
Whoever he was, he had the backing of key members of the Yorkist royal family, notably Margaret of York Duchess of Burgundy, and John de La Pole, Earl of Lincoln - the sister and the nephew of the late King Richard III).
Whoever he was, he was crowned King of England in Dublin’s cathedral. He then invaded England, only to be defeated at the battle of Stoke. Reputedly he was subsequently employed in a menial capacity in Henry VII’s household.
"The Dublin King"
Henry VII’s official statements about him have generally been accepted by subsequent historians. But this new book questions them, and because of the uncertainty about the pretender’s real identity, it generally prefers to refer to him as ‘The Dublin King’
Every possible boyhood of the Dublin King is explored:
- Richard Duke of York and Edward V (the ‘princes in the Tower’)
- the two possible life histories of Edward Earl of Warwick (son of George, Duke of Clarence)
- and the story of Lambert Simnel.
On the way, some intriguing new or little-known information is revealed.
The book then traces the lead-up to his coronation and explores evidence of his reign and the story of the battle of Stoke. Clear evidence is presented of the boy’s royal title, and we even get to see a contemporary fifteenth-century image of him in his role as King of England!
The book ends by exploring the after-lives of the Dublin King (in his various possible identities) - and those of his supporters, and of key people affected by him.
A Fresh Approach
THE DUBLIN KING adopts a new approach to a puzzling and controversial story.
It questions the simple, standard answers.
It offers new and unfamiliar evidence.
In the process of seeking the truth behind the 500 year old story of the Dublin boy-king of 1487, it also sheds new light on the stories of the ‘princes in the Tower’ and of the Earl of Warwick.
The book’s plates, text-illustrations and tables offer an important and fascinating back-up to its written evidence.