Wednesday, 8 May 2013
The Battle of Deal, Kent, 1495
The Wars of the Roses are conventionally said to have ended in 1485 when the Yorkist King Richard III was killed at the Battle of Bosworth and the new Tudor Dynasty came to the throne in the form of King Henry VII. However, the bloodshed and upheavals continued for some years after that, as the events at Deal in 1495 show.
Although Henry did his best to calm the rivalries and feuds that had erupted during the Wars of the Roses, it was inevitable that some were discontented with the new regime. In 1490 the lost cause of York seemed to have a chance of revival when a young man appeared in Burgundy and asked for an audience with Duchess Margaret, daughter of the late King Edward IV of England. The young man told the Duchess that he was her brother, Richard. Richard of York had been missing since 1483 when he and his brother, Edward V, were last seen in the none too gentle care of Richard III. Although many people assumed Richard had murdered the two boys, no bodies or real evidence had ever been found. The claimant told a tale of narrow escapes and subterfuge. Duchess Margaret declared herself convinced and threw herself into promoting the cause of her supposed brother.
By 1495 several Irish lords had declared for “Richard of York”, as had King Charles VIII of France and King James IV of Scotland. Nobody in England had yet declared for the young man, but several Yorkist exiles joined the banner in Burgundy. Money was raised and mercenaries hired. In July 1495 “Richard of York” set out to invade England. They chose to land at Deal in Kent.
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