Article on Richard III by Dr. John Ashdown-Hill

The last member of the house of York to sit upon the throne of England, in his lifetime Richard III seems to have been chiefly famous for his loyalty and good service to his elder brother, King Edward IV. However, after his own government was overthrown by a usurper with French support, but no valid claim to the English crown, Richard became famous chiefly for his heavily blackened reputation. This was by no means a unique event. Rewriting of history has occurred on other occasions in the wake of a violent change of regime.

Read the full article here:

The Henry Tudor Society & Death Certificates

The HENRY TUDOR SOCIETY has on its website an article with the title

The Lincoln Roll – the Princes’ Death Certificate?

First, this article employs the practice of referring to Richard III (who was INVITED to mount the throne of England by the Three Estates of the Realm) as ‘USURPER’ – a term which it does not employ in relation to Henry VII – who seized the English throne in battle.

However, the main claim of the article is that a family tree roll which it claims once belonged to John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln, contains ‘an approximate date for the death of Edward V and disproves the idea that either of the Princes might have survived’. It states that

Edward V’s medallion reads

Edward first-born son of King Edward and Elizabeth

“In iunie tute sine liberis decessit”

In June safely without issue deceased in childhood (my translation)

Richard, Duke of York’s medallion reads

Richard second son of King Edward and Elizabeth

“Etiam decessit sine liberis”

 Also deceased without issue in childhood

Various commentators on the article have already pointed out that the author / translator of the Latin phrases (David Durose) has misinterpreted the inscriptions relating to the so-called ‘princes’ (the illegitimate sons of Edward IV and Elizabeth Widville). The comments by Marie Walsh, Ibphilly and others are entirely correct. There is no use of the term ‘childhood’ in the Latin texts, and Durose’s reading of the first Latin text as beginning ‘In iunie’ is incorrect. It actually says ‘In iuvê’ – an abbreviated form of the Latin ‘in iuventute’ (= ‘in his youth’).

But even more significant is the error behind Durose’s claim relating to the ownership of the roll. In its present form it cannot possibly have belonged to John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln, because the medallion which refers to Lincoln himself records his death in battle against Henry VII (in 1487). Even more significant, however, is that fact that the medallion which refers to Lincoln’s younger brother, Edmund de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk, records HIS execution by Henry VIII. Thus the role must date from AFTER 1513!

If you wish to verify any of the statements I have made, you can find images of the roll here:



HistoryExtra Magazine: Lambert Simnel by John Ashdown-Hill

Claiming to be Richard III’s heir and the rightful king of England, this boy – supposedly Edward Earl of Warwick, the son of Richard III’s brother, George, Duke of Clarence – was crowned king of England in Dublin Cathedral, despite the Tudor government insisting that his real name was Lambert Simnel and that he was an imposter. Now, in his new book, author and historian John Ashdown-Hill questions the generally accepted Tudor view that this boy was a mere pretender to the throne.

In The Dublin King, Ashdown-Hill uses previously unpublished information to uncover the true identity of the Yorkist heir, who he concludes had a stronger claim to the throne than Henry VII. He also debunks the belief by some that the so-called ‘Dublin King’ himself claimed to be one of the ‘princes in the Tower’.

Here, Ashdown-Hill reveals the two conflicting life stories of Edward, 17th Earl of Warwick…

Click here to read the full article

Review of "The Dublin King" by the Society of Antiquaries, London

From THE SOCIETY OF ANTIQUARIES OF LONDON, Salon online newsletter: Issue 334 ‏

Fellow John Ashdown-Hill, whose genealogical research played such an important role in the identification of Richard III’s remains by matching the king’s mitochondrial DNA to that of direct descendants down the female line, has written another book in which genetics could be used to solve a long-standing mystery. In this case, it concerns the boy who, in 1486, a year after Richard III’s death, claimed to be Edward, Earl of Warwick, son and heir of George, Duke of Clarence, the last surviving male of the house of York. This claimant to the throne was championed by Yorkists in the first serious challenge to the authority of Henry VII, the mystery concerning the fate of the ‘Princes in the Tower’, the sons of Edward IV, simply adding fuel to the fire.

Henry VII’s supporters declared the boy to be an imposter by the name of Lambert Simnel, and most historians (and the author of the ODNB entry for Simnel) have tended to follow the official Tudor line. Even so, as John Ashdown-Hill demonstrates, the evidence is not quite so conclusive. As he unravels the story of the boy’s coronation in Dublin on 24 May 1487 and his attempt to invade England eleven days later, on 4 June, with an army of German mercenaries and Irish infantry, doubts begin to emerge. The story is made more complex by the mixed motives of many of the aristocrats involved, all anxious to scramble to power. What is clear is just how many challenges Henry VII faced to his legitimacy as monarch and with what skill he and his supporters met these potentially serious rebellions.

The author concludes that there are two versions of Simnel’s story: the authorised one, publicised by successive English governments, and the unofficial one, which can be reconstructed from various sources, and that cannot easily be dismissed as fraudulent. As none of the evidence is cut and dried, John suggests that the best way to make the picture clearer is to seek the remains of some of the key protagonists and use DNA analysis to try to work out who they really were.

The Dublin King: the true story of Edward, Earl of Warwick, Lambert Simnel and the ‘Princes in the Tower', by John Ashdown-Hill; ISBN 9780750960342; The History Press, 2015