Yesterday I printed off my boarding card in preparation for travelling to Leicester for the re-interment of Richard III - that I lived to see the day! - which reminded me it might be a good time to revisit the topic of Lambert Simnel and other Yorkist claimants to the English throne after Richard’s defeat at Bosworth Field. For anyone interested in the tangled dynastic allegiances of 15th century England I can’t do better than recommend John Ashdown-Hill’s recently published The Dublin King. Dr Ashdown-Hill brooks no lazy assumptions or uncritical recycling of old legends. He goes to original sources and when he can’t he admits as much.
Well as we all know, Catherine did marry Arthur but Arthur died and Catherine, as was the way with valuable royal brides, got passed along to his brother Henry. But that’s another story entirely.
For my money Lambert Simnel is undoubtedly the most convincing of the Yorkist Pretenders but unless it becomes possible to compare the DNA of a known scion of the House of York with that of a Simnel descendant we may never get any closer to the truth. It’s quite an unusual surname so, if you know of anyone called Simnel, do pass the word along to John Ashdown-Hill who would be very interested to hear from them.