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How Accurate Is It to Say That the Yorkists Remained a Serious Threat to Henry Vii’s Security Throughout His Reign?

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How accurate is it to say that the Yorkists remained a serious threat to Henry VII’s security throughout his reign?
It is probably not accurate to say the Yorkists remained a serious threat throughout Henry's reign. Throughout his reign he had many pretenders trying to make a claim on his crown, for example Perkin Warbeck and Lambert Simnel. Most had weak conspiracies and minimal support; however foreign help was high from England traditional enemies such as Scotland and France. Although betrayal from Stanley was serious for Henry, there were many factors of his reign helping maintain his thrown; which were he married the most prominent Yorkist and he dealt well with the threats through his spy system. Although Henry was considered vulnerable in his reign, and he did face challenges from Yorkist supporters, they were not a constant serious threat to his security.
The first signs of Yorkists dissatisfaction with Henry VII were the Lovell Rebellion of 1486. While Henry was on royal progresses in the North the conspirators broke sanctuary; The Stafford brothers travelled to Worchester to start up rebellion and Lovell headed north to ambush the king. However Henry learnt about the uprising and sent an army to stop Lovell, the rebels fled. This rebellion was of little threat to Henry’s security as the army was small as they lacked support from nobles, there was no foreign backing and Henry managed to deal with the Yorkists well. The Stafford’s were arrested and sent to the tower, Humphrey was executed there. Overall it was not a successful rebellion, this is shown in the fact that Henry didn’t think it important for him to stop his royal progress, meaning his position was strong and at the beginning of his reign as the Yorkists were not a serious threat.
An example of a serious threat to Henry’s security at the time would be the Lambert Simnel rebellion of 1487. This rebellion funded by Yorkists pretended Lambert Simnel was the young Earl of Warwick. Worryingly to Henry Simnel received lots of support from Ireland as Yorkist support was high there and Simnel was crowned king in Dublin cathedral. As well as this Margaret of Burgundy took advantage of this growing Yorkist support around Simnel and sent 2000 German mercenaries to Ireland. This then led to the Battle of Stoke in 1487 in which Henry was forced to fight, which only highlights the danger to him. However henry won the battle of Stoke, which only confirmed his right to be king. Furthermore this cannot be considered a vast threat, due to the fact that the real Earl or Warwick was alive and being kept in the tower therefore SImnel had no claim at all. More importantly it is clear Simnel is just a political pawn being controlled but the ambitious Yorkists and ruthless foreign powers so is actually of little threat to Henry, who might have had a weak claim but was not in a vulnerable position. It is clear Simnel is a pawn as Henry pardons him and he was put to work in the kitchen as a royal turnspit.
Perkin Warbeck was another pretender; he claimed to be Richard of York, the youngest one of the Edward IV’s sons. His threat was serious to Henry’s security as the Warbeck conspiracy lasted for such a long time, from 1491-1499 he was a constant threat to henry and his crown. Although Perkin was not one of the princes in the towers, he gained a lot of Yorkist support especially from abroad which just demonstrated how dangerous a threat Yorkist opposition was to Henry’s security. Gaining foreign support would make the threat a lot more serious for Henry, as this could increase the chance of successful invasion. Warbeck gained the support of Charles VIII of France, Margaret of Burgundy, James IV of Scotland and Holy roman Emperor Maximillian. This would seem to make Warbeck a serious threat, but Henry counteracted this by being extremely competent in foreign diplomacy. He managed to deal with each country which caused him threat and successfully dampened Warbeck’s campaign. Firstly Henry created the treaty of Etaples with Charles in 1492, saying they wouldn’t shelter rebels, meaning Warbeck could not see refuge in France. Secondly Henry made the trade embargo with Burgundy in 1493 which cut off important Burgundian trade-links with England. By this time however Warbeck was recognised by Maximillian, which is when Henry swooped in and bribed him, with his vast amour of wealth to abandon Warbeck. Finally Henry tried to stop the long lasting support for Warbeck from Scotland, as they were England’s natural and closest enemy and James had married Warbeck to his cousin Lady Catherine Gordon. He did this by the truce of Aynton 1497 forcing Warbeck to flee to Cornwall, which led to his capture. He was executed for treason in 1499. Although Henry did not have a preconceived plan when it came to his foreign policy, as he was one step behind Warbeck just reacting to the events his skill in foreign policy meant the pretender wasn’t a serious threat to his security as Henry was continually stumping the foreign powers in supporting the Yorkist pawns.
William Stanley is another Yorkist threat posed to Henry; he had a Yorkist necklace with the livery of a white rose and a massive amount of money in his room. William Stanley betrayal was disturbing for Henry as it showed that conspiracy went right down to the heart of the royal household, as Stanley was Henrys Lord Chamberlain. Stanley said that if Warbeck was Richard of York he could do nothing to defend Henry against him. This is important as if a pretender like Warbeck had managed to convince Stanley the king was clearly far from safe. Although this shows the Yorkists as threat, Henry however takes this opportunity to create an efficient spy network and private body guard. He reorganised his household, increasing security and the Privy Chamber went into lock down. Despite this highlighting that that Henry thought growing Yorkist support was threatening, the spy network was very effective in preventing future rebellion. This is because it manages to defect the situation before it even starts, which overall protects Henry’s security from Yorkists.
During Henrys last years, it can be said there was little Yorkist threat to this reign as in 1499 Earl of Warwick and Perkin Warbeck were executed for treason. The only remaining Yorkist with a reasonable claim was Edmund de la Pole, earl of Suffolk, however his mere existence, he was Richard III and Edward IV’s nephew, posed a serious threat to Henry at this time. This is because in 1501 Edmund de la Pole fled to the continent to seek support of Philip of Habsburg against Henry. However again we see the strength of Henrys position as he manages to reduce regional power and finally execute the Earl of Suffolk as a security measure in 1513. Evidence also that his security is not threatened is Henry uses his financial muscles to keep Philip on his side, for example in 1503 he ‘loaned’ him £138,000. Secondly, Henry neutralised Suffolk’s power base in east Anglia to stop the risk of an uprising and actually many de la Pole clients changed their allegiances after 1501. Luck is also a factor which is on Henrys side when maintaining his royal security. In 1506 Philip of Hapsburg had to land in an English port, Henry then managed to press him to deliver Suffolk to the tower. This shows again where Henry manages to maintain his security from a once serious Yorkist threat.
Despite the fact there may seem more reasons the Yorkists were a serious threat to Henrys reign, there were important factors that disagree with this view. From the beginning of his reign Henry has the legitimacy and support of the Pope. Also if you consider that he married the prime Yorkist claimant, Elizabeth and has 2 sons with her Arthur and Henry his reign is mostly secure from Yorkist threat as there are few viable claimants to the throne left and by 1513 there are none. In addition most of the people in England were desperate for security and peace and therefore the Yorkist pretenders got little domestic support. Buckingham was also dead and there were few powerful nobles left meaning successful rebellions would be unlikely. Furthermore suggesting that Henry’s reign was secure from Yorkist threat.
In conclusion while Yorkist threat was serious to his reign at some points in time, it was not a continual threat. The backing from foreign powers in supporting the Yorkist pretenders was vital for a successful attempt on the throne; this was a serious threat and needed to be stopped by Henry in order to maintain security. In which he did successfully through treaties, increasing his spy system, his immense wealth and luck in battle. Henry although was not full of charisma he manages to persuade nobles to change and support him, meaning support for Yorkists was low. Overall at the start of Henry’s reign it may be said that Yorkist threat was high but over time threat decreased as Henry increased in political power and strength. By 1499 onwards he had little to fear but it is unfortunate this is the time when he was most secure from conspiracies that he felt most vulnerable.…...

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