• Dear Guest, and welcome to RailUK Forums. Our non-railway discussion forums are currently restricted until members have five or more posts, and you will not be able to make a new thread or reply to an existing one in this section until you have made five or more posts elsewhere on the forum.

What changes to Britain might have followed if the other side had won the Battle of the Roses?

Status
Not open for further replies.
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

yorksrob

Veteran Member
Joined
6 Aug 2009
Messages
29,806
Location
Yorks
The House of Lancaster did win the Wars of the Roses (Henry Tudor was from that side).
 

CarltonA

Member
Joined
22 Apr 2012
Messages
597
Location
Gerrards Cross
If the House of YORK had won at Bosworth field in 1485, (assuming Henry Tudor died instead of Richard) then Henry VIII (b.1491) would never have happened. This would have made a major impact on British history, not least the schism with the Catholic Church.
 

Senex

Established Member
Joined
1 Apr 2014
Messages
2,541
Location
York
Richard certainly had a genuine strong attachment to Yorkshire, but whether that would have made any major difference to the national outcome seems unlikely — in this context York and Lancaster aren't much more than simple labels, and either side would basically have established itself firmly in the south-east and ruled from there and the great drift of power to London would have happened just as it did. The only good thing if Richard had won would have been no Henry VIII, perhaps the greatest monster in a long list of bad kings. But would someone just as bad have come up on the Yorkist side, I wonder. (One curiosity is that the towns from which the two sides take their names were both in the same ecclesiastical diocese: those were the times when the See of York extended right across to the west coast between the Ribble and the Cumberland Derwent.)
 

yorksrob

Veteran Member
Joined
6 Aug 2009
Messages
29,806
Location
Yorks
Would England have remained in the Catholic fold - how would relations with Spain and France have differed afterwards. Would Catholic England have seen the need to colonise America without various bickering protestant sects, etc

Without the Tudor dynasty, the history of the world may have been dramatically different.
 

Mcr Warrior

Established Member
Joined
8 Jan 2009
Messages
4,336
Interesting flights of fancy / parallel universe scenarios in imagining just how things might have panned out differently had key points in English history been changed.

For example, if Harold II hadn't had to have speed marched up North to battle the Vikings at Stamford Bridge in Yorkshire in 1066 almost immediately before facing William of Normandy in Sussex.

If the Black Death hadn't devastated England (and much of the rest of Western Europe) in the mid 14th century and the years following.

If Bonnie Prince Charlie's Jacobite march from Scotland into England in 1745 had been more determined and they'd not turned back at Derby.

...to give three examples.
 
Last edited:

Busaholic

Established Member
Joined
7 Jun 2014
Messages
10,517
The burning question I'd like answered is - would Geoffrey Boycott have existed? And, if not, would that have been a good or bad thing? Discuss.
 

Senex

Established Member
Joined
1 Apr 2014
Messages
2,541
Location
York
Interesting flights of fancy / parallel universe scenarios in imagining just how things might have panned out differently had key points in English history been changed.

For example, if Harold II hadn't had to have speed marched up North to battle the Vikings at Stamford Bridge in Yorkshire in 1066 almost immediately before facing William of Normandy in Sussex.

If the Black Death hadn't devastated England (and much of the rest of Western Europe) in the mid 14th century and the years following.

If Bonnie Prince Charlie's Jacobite march from Scotland into England in 1745 had been more determined and they'd not turned back at Derby.

...to give three examples.
All three of them very interesting ones. If Harold had won in Sussex then all English land would not have passed to the ownership of William and allodial holdings would have remained instead of most hand being handed out to William's followers (the reward they expected), the Norman-style feudal structure would not have been imposed with the near-enslavement of much of the Anglo-Saxon population, there would have been no Harrying of the North, the English language would be very different indeed — and presumably the great Norman building spate of castles and cathedrals would not have happened, but rather a slower and somewhat different architectural development. Might we, a thousand years later, have ended up looking very much more like a Scandinavian society? But who can even begin to say what other things might subsequently have happened very differently if William had been thrown back into the sea on that autumn day in 1066?
 

yorksrob

Veteran Member
Joined
6 Aug 2009
Messages
29,806
Location
Yorks
Yes. The Normans might have been gits, but they left behind some decent buildings.
 

reb0118

Established Member
Fares Advisor
Joined
28 Jan 2010
Messages
2,942
Location
Bo'ness, West Lothian
On a more serious note, would The Plantation of Ulster ever needed to have taken place?

I'm busy researching my family tree - the vast majority of which shows Scottish planters to the Ulster Colony (albeit for my particular branch we returned to the homeland).

No Plantation = no me! So hurrah for James VI & I.
 
Joined
18 Aug 2019
Messages
628
Location
London
It depends what you mean by the question. I personally think if Richard had beaten Henry at Bosworth, things wouldn't have been different. Richard's only son was dead, the Princes in the Tower still hung over home and his only choice of heir was his nephew Edward, Earl of Warwick who was allegedley mad or John De La Pole, who was ambitious and rash and I'm not sure would have led to a smooth transfer of power.

The only way to get a Yorkist victory in my view is to have Richard's son, Edward of Middleham survive, this would have then led to a reltiavely clear succession upon Richard's death and with his victory at Bosworth would have led to the destruction of the Tudors. Richard likely would have consolidated his power up north around Yorkshire but would still need to have London on side. I think the other biggest change would be his attitude towards the continent. England at that point was ruined by the Wars of the Roses, but I'd expect Richard would be much more antagonistic towards the French then Henry VII was and likely get directly more involved in the Italian Wars, with an alliance with the Habsburgs seeming like a strong possibility. There's a good chance as well England may remain catholic, although that would be much harder to predict.

The other way to get a Yorkist victory in the Wars of the Roses is to simply Edward IV marry anybody other than Elizabeth Woodville. Wariwck may still defect as Edwards favoured a Burgundian alliance over a French one, but if things played out the same, pretty much all the things that people held against Edward's regime would be gone if he didn'y marry ELizabeth Woodville. Richard would almost certainly never betray him and I even thing George might survive, which does quite drastically change the Plantagenet's position. England would be in a much stronger position and Edward may be be less tempted to be bought off by Louis the Spider and join up with the Burgundians in his planned French expedition. As to who Edward would marry instead, I'm not sure, but he certainly wouldn't have married who Warwick suggested.
 
Last edited:

DelW

Established Member
Joined
15 Jan 2015
Messages
1,943
Would England have remained in the Catholic fold - how would relations with Spain and France have differed afterwards. Would Catholic England have seen the need to colonise America without various bickering protestant sects, etc

Without the Tudor dynasty, the history of the world may have been dramatically different.
Although Henry Tudor's defeat would have meant no Henry VIII, that wouldn't necessarily have meant England remaining Catholic.

Henry VIII may have set up the Church of England to legitimise his marital status, but there had already been moves towards a reformation. Theologians like Wycliffe had proposed reforms in the 14th century, and later Tyndale had links with Lutheran reformers in northern Europe. Both promoted the availability of bibles in English as a way of reducing the power of the clergy, and pressure for these translations would still have been there under a different monarchy.

So personally I think it's likely that England would still have become a Protestant nation even without Henry, albeit probably on a different timescale.
 

yorksrob

Veteran Member
Joined
6 Aug 2009
Messages
29,806
Location
Yorks
Although Henry Tudor's defeat would have meant no Henry VIII, that wouldn't necessarily have meant England remaining Catholic.

Henry VIII may have set up the Church of England to legitimise his marital status, but there had already been moves towards a reformation. Theologians like Wycliffe had proposed reforms in the 14th century, and later Tyndale had links with Lutheran reformers in northern Europe. Both promoted the availability of bibles in English as a way of reducing the power of the clergy, and pressure for these translations would still have been there under a different monarchy.

So personally I think it's likely that England would still have become a Protestant nation even without Henry, albeit probably on a different timescale.

Yes, those are good points. Would something else have prompted the split from Rome !
 

Calthrop

Established Member
Joined
6 Dec 2015
Messages
2,406
I'm busy researching my family tree - the vast majority of which shows Scottish planters to the Ulster Colony (albeit for my particular branch we returned to the homeland).

No Plantation = no me! So hurrah for James VI & I.
Although Henry Tudor's defeat would have meant no Henry VIII, that wouldn't necessarily have meant England remaining Catholic.

Henry VIII may have set up the Church of England to legitimise his marital status, but there had already been moves towards a reformation. Theologians like Wycliffe had proposed reforms in the 14th century, and later Tyndale had links with Lutheran reformers in northern Europe. Both promoted the availability of bibles in English as a way of reducing the power of the clergy, and pressure for these translations would still have been there under a different monarchy.

So personally I think it's likely that England would still have become a Protestant nation even without Henry, albeit probably on a different timescale.
Yes, those are good points. Would something else have prompted the split from Rome !

I've quite often seen / heard it suggested, that the general temperaments and tendencies of the English and Welsh and Scottish peoples are such that once Protestantism had come into the world; it was all but certain that at some stage, that is the way that Great Britain in the main, would go -- even absent from history, Henry VIII and his antics. Ireland maybe, a different story; but one wonders a bit: in "Our Time-Line" -- i.e. what has actually happened -- much rancour and intransigence on all sides concerning different variants of Christianity, has been because of religious issues' being bound up with international politics. In other conceivable time-lines, maybe less of that -- including, no "plantation" of Protestants in the north-east of Ireland (sorry, @reb0118 -- but perhaps we can figure that a reasonable facsimile of you would have come along anyway, in this current period of history :smile: ?)
 

Xenophon PCDGS

Veteran Member
Joined
17 Apr 2011
Messages
28,144
Location
A semi-rural part of north-west England
Although Henry Tudor's defeat would have meant no Henry VIII, that wouldn't necessarily have meant England remaining Catholic.

Henry VIII may have set up the Church of England to legitimise his marital status, but there had already been moves towards a reformation. Theologians like Wycliffe had proposed reforms in the 14th century, and later Tyndale had links with Lutheran reformers in northern Europe. Both promoted the availability of bibles in English as a way of reducing the power of the clergy, and pressure for these translations would still have been there under a different monarchy.

So personally I think it's likely that England would still have become a Protestant nation even without Henry, albeit probably on a different timescale.
I wonder how many other monarchs in Europe decided to set up their own church, with them at its head, in order to facilitate a personal whim?

If England had not became a Protestant nation, would that have meant that the Dutch and the German monarchies of this country not have happened?
 
Last edited:

duncanp

Established Member
Joined
16 Aug 2012
Messages
2,402
Location
Birmingham/Smethwick
If Richard III had won at Bosworth, it would have meant no Henry VIII, which may not have lead to the dissolution of the monasteries.

Also, after Elizabeth I died, King James VI of Scotland became King James I of England, which arguably led to the Act of Union in 1707 between England and Scotland.

Had the Plantagenet line of succession continued, would we have had the union of the crowns at some other point in the future, and would England and Scotland have remained separate countries to this day?
 

yorksrob

Veteran Member
Joined
6 Aug 2009
Messages
29,806
Location
Yorks
If Richard III had won at Bosworth, it would have meant no Henry VIII, which may not have lead to the dissolution of the monasteries.

Also, after Elizabeth I died, King James VI of Scotland became King James I of England, which arguably led to the Act of Union in 1707 between England and Scotland.

Had the Plantagenet line of succession continued, would we have had the union of the crowns at some other point in the future, and would England and Scotland have remained separate countries to this day?
Yes, I did wonder this, however With the exception of knowing that both Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots were related via Henry Tudor, I don't know enough about how else the two monarchies were related.
 

daodao

Established Member
Joined
6 Feb 2016
Messages
1,851
Location
Dunham/Bowdon
No one has commented about the status of Wales, given that the Tudors were a Welsh dynasty, who facilitated the union of England and Wales by means of the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542. Would this union have occurred under a Yorkist regime, and what might that have meant for the future of Wales? I was mindful of these acts when casting my vote on 18/9/1997.
 

duncanp

Established Member
Joined
16 Aug 2012
Messages
2,402
Location
Birmingham/Smethwick
Yes, I did wonder this, however With the exception of knowing that both Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots were related via Henry Tudor, I don't know enough about how else the two monarchies were related.

I think it is possible that the crowns of England and Scotland may have become united by marriage, rather than Elizabeth I dying without an heir.

Henry VIII wanted to have his son Edward married to Mary Queen of Scots, and tried to use force ("the rough wooing") to bring this about.

Royal marriages were often arranged for political gain up until quite recently.
 

yorksrob

Veteran Member
Joined
6 Aug 2009
Messages
29,806
Location
Yorks
I think it is possible that the crowns of England and Scotland may have become united by marriage, rather than Elizabeth I dying without an heir.

Henry VIII wanted to have his son Edward married to Mary Queen of Scots, and tried to use force ("the rough wooing") to bring this about.

Royal marriages were often arranged for political gain up until quite recently.

Yes, there was always that possibility. Alternatively both Henry VIII and Mary Tudor married into the Spanish ruling dynasty. Perhaps a different marriage might have produced a more durable alignment with the Spanish empire !
 

DelW

Established Member
Joined
15 Jan 2015
Messages
1,943
If Richard III had won at Bosworth, it would have meant no Henry VIII, which may not have lead to the dissolution of the monasteries.

Would that mean that England would still have those still functioning gems of architecture that were built by different religious orders rather than the ruins of the majority of them?
The dissolution of the monasteries was a disaster architecturally (although the ruins can be beautiful in themselves), but was probably necessary. The 16th century church was arguably corrupt, and certainly more interested in preserving its own power and wealth than anything else. Once reformist pressure built, with help from the Lutherans, there would have been a movement to, ahem, "take back control" from Rome and to anglicise both the church and its teachings.

Whether Henry put the wealth that he took from the monasteries to any better use than had the monks, is another question.

Had the great abbeys survived, we would by now be worrying how we could pay for their upkeep.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

Veteran Member
Joined
17 Apr 2011
Messages
28,144
Location
A semi-rural part of north-west England
The dissolution of the monasteries was a disaster architecturally (although the ruins can be beautiful in themselves), but was probably necessary. The 16th century church was arguably corrupt, and certainly more interested in preserving its own power and wealth than anything else. Once reformist pressure built, with help from the Lutherans, there would have been a movement to, ahem, "take back control" from Rome and to anglicise both the church and its teachings.

Whether Henry put the wealth that he took from the monasteries to any better use than had the monks, is another question.
Were the monies from the sale of those buildings needed by Henry VIII to help to finance a war effort in those days? The power of the monarch these days is not what it was in that period. Just imagine the public outcry there would be if Westminster Abbey and York Minster suddenly appeared as "being on sale by auction".

Can someone with knowledge say when "The Divine Right of Kings" ceased to have any meaning?
 

AlterEgo

Veteran Member
Joined
30 Dec 2008
Messages
13,546
Location
No longer here
Were the monies from the sale of those buildings needed by Henry VIII to help to finance a war effort in those days? The power of the monarch these days is not what it was in that period. Just imagine the public outcry there would be if Westminster Abbey and York Minster suddenly appeared as "being on sale by auction".

Can someone with knowledge say when "The Divine Right of Kings" ceased to have any meaning?
In a meaningful way, the Divine Right of Kings was nullified after the Glorious Revolution, which effectively enshrined constitutional monarchy.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

Veteran Member
Joined
17 Apr 2011
Messages
28,144
Location
A semi-rural part of north-west England
Had the great abbeys survived, we would by now be worrying how we could pay for their upkeep.

Look what happened the the great Christian cathedral of Constantinople. The Muslims turned it into a Great Mosque and it has always been cared for since then, but of course, unlike in Britain. theocracy in Muslim countries still attaches great religious adherence over secular matters.
 

DelW

Established Member
Joined
15 Jan 2015
Messages
1,943
Were the monies from the sale of those buildings needed by Henry VIII to help to finance a war effort in those days? The power of the monarch these days is not what it was in that period. Just imagine the public outcry there would be if Westminster Abbey and York Minster suddenly appeared as "being on sale by auction".

Apart from anything else, Henry spent quite a lot on palaces, including building St James's and enlarging Hampton Court, both of which are of course still extant. He also built Nonsuch which has entirely disappeared.

There seem to have been almost endless low level wars against the Scots, the Irish, and various continental European powers, which no doubt drained the exchequer as well.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top