The Shadow of the Tower (1972)

 

 

 

Director:     Prudence Fitzgerald (3 episodes),  Moira Armstrong (2 episodes), Anthea Browne-Wilkinson.

Starring:     James Maxwell (Henry VII), Norma West (Elizabeth of York), Hugh Sullivan (Earl of Oxford), Denis Carey (Cardinal Morton), Marigold Sharman (Margaret Beaufort), Barrie Cookson (Fox Bishop of Exeter), Brian Badcoe (Jasper Duke of Bedford), Robert James (Earl of Derby), Richard Warwick (Perkin Warbeck), Michael Johnson (Lord Lovell), James Laurenson (Earl of Lincoln), Jake Robson (Earl of Warwick).

founding of the Tudor Dynasty by Henry VII

 

Episode 1.  Crown in Jeopardy.

On the battlefield of Bosworth Field.  King Richard III of England is dead.  Henry Tudor is now crowned informally by a soldier as King Henry VII. 

Elizabeth of York, the future bride of King Henry VII, is in Yorkshire and wonders if Henry has really landed.  His family tells her that he has.  In fact, this is his second attempt to gain the throne.  Uncle Richard (Richard III) will meet Henry on the battlefield. Elizabeth does not think that Henry can win.  One of her small brothers says he doesn't like Uncle Richard. 

At a farm belonging to the Abbot Sante, two brothers, Humphrey Stafford and Thomas Stafford, talk about Richard III and believe that he is either dead or fled.  Lord Lovell, the Lord Chamberlain of England, comes to see the two brothers.  Their guest tells the brothers that Richard III is dead.  Also dead is the Duke of Norfolk. Lord Levell says that one reason Richard lost was that Northumberland decided to hold off from the battle and Stanley joined Henry at the last minute.  The conversation now switches to Elizabeth of York.  Lord Levell says she's in Sheriff Hutton Castle in Yorkshire, where Richard put her with the Earl of Warwick.  Richard had named the Earl of Lincoln to be his heir.  So now they will back Lincoln. 

Henry does not have confirmation that Richard III is truly dead.  Nor do they know the fate of Lincoln.  Henry is going to take up residence in the Tower of London.  Sir Robert Willoughby comes in to inform Henry that the Earl of Lincoln has escaped. 

Lord Lovell says they don't have to worry just know about Henry because he and his army will be headed for London.  And one of the first things he will do is repeal the Act of Attainder that makes both him and his uncle traitors. The Earl of Lincoln and his men arrive. 

Elizabeth of York is thinking that Uncle Richard has probably killed Henry.  She says:  "Now I may never know what he was really like."

Lord Levell tells the men that Henry Tudor is completely dominated by his uncle, and his uncle is the mad Welsh earl.  And also with Henry always is Oxford.  Lincoln says that Richard's nephew is the next in line, but he is just a boy of 9 years of age.  Then there is Lincoln himself, son of Edward IV's sister. 

Now Elizabeth begins to think that it's Tudor that has survived the battle.  She says that Henry is going to need her to legitimize his becoming King.  He will want to marry her.  She adds:  "But he needs my consent, and I may not give it."  She expects Henry to come and woo her. 

Sir Robert Willoughby delivers a message to Elizabeth.  The King is proceeding and he, Willoughby, will escort Elizabeth to London, along with her sister, the Lady Cicely, and the young Earl of Warwick.  Elizabeth says she will be ready to go within the week.  Willoughby says it is the King's wish that they leave immediately.  The King also wants them to live in the Tower. 

Henry is now in London and is welcomed by the people.  His mother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond, comes to see him.  She is anxious for her son to marry Elizabeth, but he is no hurry.  He says he will have it said that Henry was not king until he married Elizabeth.  Mother reminds him that they both gave their word committing them to the marriage.  Henry tells her that it may yet prove to be the case that Elizabeth is the one to marry. 

Uncle Jasper Tudor asks if Henry has heard anything about Lord Lovell?  Another man says that Lovell is in sanctuary at Colchester along with the Stafford brothers. 

The council meets with the King.  The King's step-father and his step-uncle note that there are few of them here, because Northumberland and Surrey are in the Tower and Catesby and John Buck have both been killed.    As they meet, Lord Lincoln shows up at the council of lords.  Lincoln asks for an audience with the King, but he didn't expect to see the whole council assembled together.  In private Lincoln tells the King that whether he helps rebuild the kingdom or work to destroy it, it all depends upon the King. 

In front of the council, the King now offers Lincoln a seat on the council.  Lincoln accepts by sitting down at the table.   The council now goes back to its business.  The King says the start of his reign will start with the date of August 21, one day before the Battle of Bosworth Field.  That means that any lord who fought against Henry on August 22, will be considered a traitor to his King.  But if within the next 40 days the lords swear their allegiance to Henry, then they shall receive a full and free pardon.  And he is putting his uncle Jasper Tudor, the Earl of Pembroke, and Lincoln on a special committee to question the loyalty of certain subjects in certain areas. 

Elizabeth is concerned that her name has not been mentioned in any of the public announcements.  Her sister assures her that the King will be sending for her soon.  Elizabeth, however, is also upset about a rumor that the King is considering a French marriage.

The boy Warwick is bored being cooped up in the tower.

The King's mother comes to see Elizabeth and Cicely.  Mother greets the sisters very warmly and asks if they need anything?  Elizabeth says she wishes Warwick would come to stay with them.  Mother says the King has said that Warwick should have his own household.  She now tells them that the coronation will happen on October 30.  And the King wants both sisters to attend.  Elizabeth attends but complains that the King has made her look ridiculous.  He placed her after his mother in the procession. 

The King comes over to Elizabeth and treats her kindly.  They talk of the music of his Welsh harpist and lthe King asks if Willoughby proved satisfactory to her as her escort?  She says yes.  Then Elizabeth gets bolder and asks:  "Your Majesty, must the Earl of Warwick return to the tower?"  She says that Warwick is imprisoned there.  He responds that at least the Earl of Warwick is safely tucked away from men who would use him for their own political ends. 

Humphrey and Thomas Stafford are sick and tired of waiting for some action.  And they are upset that Lincoln took a seat on the King's council.  Lovell tells the brothers that they must be patient.  After all, Lincoln has only made one decision, when there are many more decisions to be made. 

The Lord of Lincoln comes to see his cousin Elizabeth and gives her some flowers.  He has come to inquire what Elizabeth would do, if Henry did not marry her as he promised?  Elizabeth side-steps the question by saying the event will be publicly announced and Lincoln will be one of those first to know. 

On the council is Lord Stanley and he raises the question of the King's marriage.  They would like to know when the wedding will take place?   The King says that the marriage will be solemnized in January.

The public announcement of the marriage does not please Lincoln's supporters.  Lovell says that he is probably going north to Lancashire. 

The marriage takes place. 

 

Episode 2.  Power in the Land.

Surrey comes to visit Northumberland.  Northumberland has been pardoned and released, but Surrey has only been pardoned and not released.  They talk about Warwick still being kept in the tower.  As long as Warwick has some claim to the throne, it is doubtful the lad will be released. Another thing they talk about is Lovell and the Staffords having broken out of sanctuary.  Northumberland says:  "They are said to be in arms."  And the King is going to make a Royal Progress through the country.

An assassin in York prepares to kill the King.  Northumberland's men stop him and arrest him.  There were three would-be assassins in all and they all have been hanged.

Lovell brings back the bad new of the three hanged assassins.  Thomas Stafford is worried that they too could be arrested for the assassination attempt. 

Northumberland tells the King that the three men confessed that the Staffords paid them to kill the King.  He is also sure that Lovell knew of the attempt.  These men are a big threat to the King for they have an army that lies between them and London.

Elizabeth is pregnant.  She says it was not right to go on a Progress so soon.  She wants to go north and join her husband, but he doesn't want her to be with him.  She tells her mother-in-law:  "He won't accept anything from me.  Not even his safety." 

Lovell and Humphrey plot out strategy for an upcoming fight with the King.

Uncle Jasper says that the King must not risk going to Gloucester and Bristol.  He says they have to deal with Lovell and the Staffords before going there.  And that means they will have to raise an army.  Northumberland is worried that if the King brings all his forces to the North, London will be left undefended.  Jasper says that's just a chance they will have to take.  The Earl of Oxford will have to gather his forces and come north.  The King, however, says he has another weapon and he wants to see what he can do with that first. 

The King is going to use the power of the church.  The Pope in Rome proclaims:  "Be it known to all that our well-beloved Henry Tudor is the undoubted King of the English.  The heirs of his body, born in wedlock to him and our dear daughter Elizabeth of York are the undoubted heirs to the throne, and all who take arms against him are rebels, and if they persist, shall be excommunicated."

In their tent Lovell tells the Staffords:  "So, he's beaten us. . . . He's beaten us with the power of the Church." 

In Abingdon, the Staffords knock on the monastery's door and when the door is opened they shout:  "We demand sanctuary."  Father Abbot Sante gives them sanctuary. 

Henry is back home speaking with his mother.  He says things were none too good for them in Bristol for there are no more ships being built.  Henry says he told them that they must start building ships again and that the government would pay for the ship construction.  So, when he left Bristol, the residents cheered him fervently.  Therefore, the Progress was a success. 

Mother says it's her understanding that the Staffords are under sanctuary and cannot be touched for the laws of the Church forbid it.  That my be true, reasons Henry, but that doesn't mean the rules of the game cannot be changed. 

Humphrey Stafford tells the Abbot that Lovell is still in Lancashire.  The good news is that the French Margaret of Burgundy is willing to support Lovell in an invasion of England to put the young Earl of Warwick on the throne.  The Abbot does not approve of this for the Staffords are here for sanctuary, not to plot the overthrow of Henry VII.   After all, the Pope has named King Henry as their lawful king.  He insists:  "the rights of sanctuary do not include the right to conspire."  Just before he leaves, he says:  "Certainly, not before my presence."  This gives Humphrey a good laugh for that was certainly a wink to the Staffords. 

Humphrey tells his brother Thomas that they are going to go to Flanders and there wait for the arrival of Lord Lovell.  Then they will plan an invasion of England. 

The Lord of Lincoln talks with Northumberland.  He asks him if he saw the Earl of Warwick when he was in the Tower?  Yes, many times, but he never got a chance to speak with him.  Northumberland asks if Lincoln has heard about the King's new order to ban personal liveries?  Lincoln is outraged about this new order.  He says they must maintain the right to put their followers in their own livery. 

The King meets with the lords.  He says the Staffords are to be arrested and brought to London.  The clergyman Fox says the brothers have taken sanctuary at the abbey at Culham.  The King says that they are rebels and must be apprehended.  He also brings up the subject of the banishment of the liveries, because as the King says, private liveries mean private armies.  He says the men in these private armies must swear allegiance to their lords, but this allegiance belongs to the king and not to the lords.  The King also says he wants all the nobles, along with the knights and squires of Parliament, to take an oath that their followers will no longer wear livery nor will their followers have to swear allegiance to the lords.  Then he asks that the Earl of Oxford and the Earl of Lincoln supervise the oath-taking. 

Fox, the Bishop of Exeter, goes to speak to the abbot.  He gets the abbot to hand over the two Stafford rebels.  And into the Tower they go. 

Richard Fox tells the King that the abbot is going to appeal to Rome.  If the Pope supports the abbot, then he may also withdraw Papal support from the King.  The Pope may even excommunicate the King.  Nevertheless, the King seems determined to stand up for his beliefs in this matter.  Fox tells him that if he continues to defy the Pope, His Holiness might give his support to another claimant to the throne.  The abbot comes in and says that the King has wronged the church by breaking the sanctuary.  The King fires back with:  "You have given aid to treason."  The King says that sanctuary does not mean sanctuary to men who are plotting treason.  He hands a letter from Lovell to the abbot involving a conspiracy to invade England with the aid of Margaret of Burgundy.   The King also says that the abbot already knew about this and knew about the plot to assassinate the King.  He adds this threat:  "The man who commits treason is an enemy of the realm, and those who shelter him must partake of his crime."  The King offers a bargain to the abbot:  "Sanctuary for every crime, except treason."

Outside for a breath of air, Humphrey Stafford seems very certain that they are still under the protection of the church, which the King will not oppose.  He figures the King will have to pardon them to avoid a confrontation with the power of the Pope.  The brothers talk with the Earl of Surrey who is also out for a bit of air.  Humphrey asks Surrey about the Earl of Warwick.  He says:  "In Abingdon, we heard the Earl of Warwick was dead.  . . .  And that the boy in the Tower was not Warwick at all."  Surrey says it's not true.  He then wishes the brothers well when they go before the council.  This is a surprise to the brothers. 

Humphrey is a bold and super-confident witness before the council.  But all the air goes out of him when the Bishop of Exeter tells him that there is no sanctuary for treason.  Humphrey fires back with a document saying that the abbey is a sanctuary for all crimes in perpetuity.  The Earl of Oxford answers him:  "You are not living under the law of the King of the Mercians, but under the law of His Majesty King Henry VII."  The brother will now have to appear before the Court of the King's Bench.

The Court of the King's Bench finds both brothers guilty of treason.  They will be strangled and drawn and quartered. 

The Queen has just found out that there was an attempted assassination of the King.  Her mother-in-law says she already knew of this and now that the Queen knows, she must not speak about it publicly.  The King knows he has enemies, but he does not want to publicly admit that he has enemies for fear of de-legitimizing his own rule.

Waiting for their executions, Humphrey apologizes to Thomas for leading him to his execution.  Thomas says he's glad of it.  He's glad they fought to prevent Henry from gaining the throne and then fought against him keeping his throne.  They did something that was important. 

The brothers look like they have been beaten as they stand on the gallows waiting to be hanged.  A pardon comes from the King, but only for Thomas.  It's a big disappointment for Humphrey, but at least he does say he is happy that his brother is to be freed.

The abbot thanks the King for sparing Thomas Stafford. But the King tells the abbot that he participated in the treason so much that he must pay the realm 2,000 marks.  The abbot says it will take him years to raise such a sum.  The King just says it won't really be all that hard.

Surrey speaks with Thomas in the Tower.  He warns him that if the King's men find one letter from Thomas to Lord Lovell, the axe may yet fall on Thomas' head after all.  Surrey tells Thomas that the King will pardon him, and if he does, Thomas should get on his horse and ride straight to Devon, because for now everything is going well for the King. 

The Queen has her baby one month prematurely.  The King is very worried about this, but his mother tries to reassure him.  As they talk about the birth, they hear the sound of a baby crying.  Mother goes back in to see the Queen and the baby.  She comes out later saying that all is well for mother and son.  The King says that they must immediately have a christening here at King Arthur's seat.

Henry goes in to see his wife and child.  He is very happy about the child and thanks his wife for this gift.  He says this child has made him stronger than ten armies.  Now he has someone behind him to take up the throne and crown if something should happen to the king. 

The King comes out with his child and introduces Prince Arthur to his council.   

 

Episode 3.  The Schooling of Apes.

Lambert Simnel, a boy is being coached to be the Earl of Warwick, son of Edward IV's brother Clarence and claimant to the throne.  An abbot asks the boy what is his name, he says correctly that he is Lambert Simnel, but the abbot strikes him for not saying he is the Earl of Warwick. 

The abbot asks Lambert more questions.  One of these is who of the family remains alive?  Lambert gets another slap when he says that his relatives are all dead.  Lambert now remembers at he has an aunt in Flanders, Duchess Margaret of Burgundy, and a cousin of Lincoln,, John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln. 

Lambert father comes into the room.  He is the organ repairman and has come to see his son.  The abbot scolds the father saying that the Earl of Warwick is not his son and father should not be here.  Lambert tells his dad that these men are going to make him the King of England. 

Father Abbott comes in and the abbot tells him that Simnel was spying on them.  The senior abbot tells Simnel that he is supposed to stay away from his son, for dad is only an obstruction to the boy.  "Now, get out!  And keep silence!"  Simnel reminds his son that he is only a character in a play and not the true king of England.  "Simnel, get out!", shouts the abbot.  The father leaves.  Father abbot agrees with the other that Simnel will have "to be taken care of". 

Now Father Abbot introduces to Father Simmons to two citizens of Abingdon, Master Christopher Swan and Master John Mayne.  He adds that Father Simmons, if all goes well, will be the new Archbishop of Canterbury.  Lambert will be going to Ireland.  The Irish Lords are anxious to meet the boy.  If they approve of Lambert, they will acknowledge him the true heir to throne of England.  Swan says:  "The Irish will use any stick to beat the English."  While Swan has his doubts, Mayne accepts the scheme. 

Father Abbot wants Swan to take some letters to Lord Francis Lovell who is stay in Lancashire with Sir Thomas Broughton.  And abbot Simmons will take letters to the Earl of Lincoln and find out how much money it will take to buy him over to their cause.  Simmons is disappointed that he will lose his "prince" for awhile. 

King Henry VII asks the Earl of Lincoln to bring him some red wine.  The earl wants to go home now, because it is late, but the King of England wants him to sit and have some wine with him.  Henry is still not convince that Lincoln believes in his cause.  He brings up the observation that it must be hard on Lincoln to have lost so much in one day at the Battle of  Bosworth Field.  Yes, in one day Lincoln lost both his past and his future.  Lincoln says the approval of his King is enough consolation for him.  Henry is no to sure of this. 

The Captain of the King's Guard comes to talk with the Bishop of Exeter.  The fellow tells the Bishop that, per his instructions, he followed Father Simmons.  Simmons talked with the servant of the Earl of Lincoln.  He made several attempts to speak to the Earl, but the Earl ordered the Captain to throw the abbot out of the palace.  On Simmons, the Captain found two letters addressed to the Earl of Lincoln.  The Bishop looks over the letters.  He tells the Captain to bring "that man" to his Grace of Canterbury's chamber. 

The Archbishop of Canterbury tells Simmons that there is no room for two Archbishops of Canterbury.  He gives the order to take Simmons to Lambeth prison where perhaps he may recall the names of his friends.  The Bishop of Exeter says the prison is all full up, so the Archbishop says that Simmons shall be taken to the Tower.  Simmons is shocked and outraged, saying: "I am a priest!  You cannot send me to the Tower!"  This statement does not phase the Archbishop at all.  Simmons is taken to the Tower. 

The Archbishop and Bishop are sure that the traitor Lovell is involved in this treasonous plot.  They must play their cards right if they are to catch the big fish and not just the little ones. 

Master Swan asks to see Lord Lovell.  Broughton pretends that he has no idea of where this Lovell is.  Master Swan says that they are wasting time.  He shouts for Lovell and then shouts out the password:  "Abingdon Bridge is falling down."  Lovell comes into the room.  Swan tells him that has a letter from John Sante and his friends in Oxfordshire.  As Lovell looks over the letter, Swan tells the two men that one of their people, Richard Simmons, has been arrested and now is in the Tower.  Then he says they have the Earl of Warwick.  The two men don't believe this, Lovell says:  "If you swear he is the Earl of Warwick.. Master Swan."  Swan says:  "Many do."  Lovell follows up with:  "Then he'll serve our turn.  The name Warwick is enough, no matter who bears it." 

Swan says that Warwick is safe in Ireland and the Irish lords have all come out for him.  Lovell likes this and adds that John Mayne has already left Ireland and is now in Flanders.  In Flanders, the Duchess Margaret will back their cause.  She wants to see the Welshman Henry dead.   Margaret is in Mechlin.  Lovell says they will pay a visit to Margaret and asks if Swan wants to come with them, because with Simmons arrested, surely Swan will be named as a target.  

Henry says to a monkey:  "An organ mender's son?  So, they will crown apes at last?"  He tells the Bishop of Exeter:  "We will wage war forever!  Till it dawns on Englishmen that Henry Tudor is their master and means to remain so."  Henry says the Earl of Kildare threatens to use a pretender to the throne.  "Well, he shall learn to his hurt that we are Lord of Ireland, too, and not an Oxfordshire peasant."  Henry says he can trust no one, but decides to select a council anyway.  

Lovell is in Flanders.  He is told by Mayne that Duchess Margaret already knows that Lovell is here to speak with her.  Back from hunting, Margaret asks where is Francis Lovell?  She sees him and Francis bows and kisses her hand.  In private, Lovell tells her:  "We have produced an heir to your brother's crown."  Margaret is very doubtful about using a boy of 14 or 15 as a leader of men.  Lovell proposes that her nephew, the Earl of Lincoln, can do the actual leading. Margaret rejects this saying that he changed his loyalties and now is a minion of Henry Tudor.  Lovell insists:  "Yet he is the one who can make this insurrection good.  Lincoln must be roused."  Lovell says they have an ally that can bring Lovell around:  Henry Tudor. 

Henry tells the meeting on nobles that the exchequer is empty.  He shouts:  "Mother of God, we face a bloody insurrection!"  And now Henry wants to know who is loyal to him?  He asks Derby if he is loyal to his King?  At this point, Lovell arrives late to the meeting.  Henry scolds Lovell for being late.  The talk turns to the pretender.  Lovell wants to know where the real Warwick is?  He is in the Tower safe and sound in an apartment there.

Henry's mother-in-law comes in disturbing the meeting.  She accuses Henry of imprisoning her.  She will live with the monks of Bermondsey for her own safety.  Henry is not going to relent.  So she tells him:  "Crowns are dear in England, son-in-law.  But heads are cheap that wear them."   After she leaves Henry says:  "She may be the Queen's mother but she's an intolerable woman."

Henry decides to show the Earl of Warwick at St. Paul's Church for all the people to see. 

Father Simmons has given his confession in public.  Now they bring him in to meet the real Earl of Warwick.  At first, Simmons thinks that the boy is Lambert Simnel, but others soon set Simmons.  This is the real Earl of Warwick.  Somehow Simmons doesn't hear it or just doesn't believe it.  He tells Warwick to keep pretending to be Warwick, but when they deed is done and he is crowned king, remember that he promised Simmons he would be the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Edward, Earl of Warwick, now is publicly presented at St. Paul's.  The boy makes a good impression as he has a royal air about him.  He talks with his uncle the Earl of Lincoln.  The latter is handed a letter.  Lincoln opens it and tells everyone he must leave immediately on the King's business.  He leaves.  The Archbishop makes a comment that he could swear there was nothing written on the pieced of paper. 

Henry now knows that Lincoln has flown the coop.  He says:  "The Earl of Lincoln has betrayed us and we shall see to it that he feels our pain."  The talk is that Lincoln has aligned himself with the Simnel conspiracy.  Lincoln's dad comes in to apologize to the King for his son's sins.  He declares that he, however, is loyal to the King.  The King accepts that as being true. 

The King says that the kingdom is not strong enough to punish all the rebels.  So he will offer anyone involved in conspiracy the chance to ask for a pardon and it will be granted.  They suspect an attack on them by the rebels will come from Flanders.  He tells his men that they must strengthen their eastern coastal defenses and  to also stop any rebels from leaving England for Flanders.  Into the room comes Dorset, the Queen's brother.  He starts denying that he has had anything to do with plots to ruin the King.  He goes on and on until the King has the man put into the Tower. 

Simmons returns to Father Abbot, who asks him what did he tell the authorities?  Simmons says:  "Everything."   The senior abbot says:  "Oh, dear God in heaven!"  He tells Simmons that Lambert is safe in Dublin.  He tells him that as soon as the abbot feels better, he should travel to Dublin to be with Lambert, who undoubtedly needs his help. 

Margaret is hiring 2,000 German mercenaries.  With Margaret is Lincoln.  She is very happy to learn that he is on her side and not a traitor to her.  He tells her about the real Edward and the fake one in Ireland.  He will back the fake one in order to overthrow King Henry Tudor.

The real Edward thought that thinks were looking up for him, but as soon as the show is over, Edward is placed in a cell in the tower.  He yells:  "I'm the Earl of Warwick!  Let me out!  Let me out! Let me out!"

 

Episode 4.  The Crowning of Apes. 

Father Simmons is in Dublin with Lambert Simnel.  They look out the window.   With them in the room is an Irish Lord Bishop of Meath, Kildare and Sir Thomas Fitzgerald.  When Lambert sees "my friends" getting off the ships, he gets very excited, saying:  "My friends have come for me at last."  The priest asks the boy to calm down, but Lambert is just too excited to do that.

From the window they see the Earl of Lincoln and Viscount Lovell.  With them is the leader of the German mercenaries, Martin Schwartz. 

The Earl of Lincoln arrives, but there is no one to greet him.  He asks where are his hosts?  Where are the Earl of Warwick, Kildare and Sir Thomas Fitzgerald?  The Bishop of Meath finally comes in and speaks with Lincoln.  A little later comes Kildare.  And it's only now that Lincoln hears of the idea of crowning Lambert the King of England.  He fancies that post for himself. 

The Bishop takes off the crown on the head of a statue of Mary holding Jesus.  Lambert comes in.  When Lincoln arrives and speaks to him, the boy seems a bit intimidated by him.  Simmons has to come to his rescue a few times, once to tell him he is speaking to Lincoln and once to tell him that Lincoln wants him to sign a document.  Perhaps Lambert does not know how to write, because he hesitates so long, that Lincoln assists him in the writing of his name.  Lambert asks what was that document he signed?  It's the proclamation for the coronation of the King. 

The coronation begins.  The crown is placed on his head.  The people shout:  "Long live King Edward the Sixth!"

Henry receives the news of the coronation.  And he learns that the enemy won't be coming from Flanders, but from Dublin.  But where exactly will the enemy land their troops? 

Lovell tells Simmons that they are ready to sail.  Simmons asks and Lovell tells him that they will be landing in Lancashire (on the northwest coast of England; Lancaster is the county town).  Sir Thomas Broughton will be at Furness (a town in County Cumbria, just north of County Lancashire in England). 

In a tavern an aide named Saunders is saying too much to a fellow named James Taite, a merchant out of York city.  Taite foolishly talked about the information he had gathered to his friends. The clergymen he talks to say that's a treasonable matter.   Taite will be held until King Henry hears of what Taite and Saunders talked about. 

The Bishop of Exeter comes to Henry and says that Lincoln has set sail, but has not landed yet.  He also reports that one James Taite ". . .has been apprehended for uttering seditious matter in the house of good men of York."  Morton  now comes to Henry to tell him that 5,000 wild Irishmen under Sir Thomas Fitzgerald are part of the enemy forces.  Morton comments:  "Nice governor of Ireland he turned out to be!"  Captain Martin Schwartz command 2,000 German mercenaries. 

A man rushes in shouting:  "They've landed, sir.  They're coming up Foundry Strand . . ."  A little later in comes Lovell to say hello to his old friend Sir Thomas Broughton.  The next to arrive is Lincoln and then Father Simmons carrying Lambert.  Lincoln says that outside are 7,000 men who follow King Edward. 

Derby and King Henry pay a visit to the real Edward.  The King asks him how he's doing and Edward complains that the apartment is wet and it smells.  He asks when we will he be able to leave this place for he has not done any harm to anyone.  The King replies:  "My Lord I have enemies who will do great hurt to me and to this realm.  And they will be doing it in your name."  Edward says they do this without his consent.  The King tells him:  ". . . if they succeed in their perniciousness,  your life will not be worth a groat?"  (A groat is an English silver coin worth four pence, used from the 14th to the 17th century.)  Henry gets frustrated because he feels the boy is not really listening to him.  As he leaves, he tells Derby to move the boy into better quarters.  The jailer says to Derby:  "You know, my Lord, either way  --  whoever comes out of these troubles best, that is -- my young Lord doesn't stand much of a chance, does he?" 

Lambert complains that they men have been talking all day.  The Bishop tells him that the men are councils of war for there are battles to be won.  Swan and Mayne come in and tell Simmons that they have had no success in recruiting the local people here.  Swan says tomorrow they will cross the Pennine Way headed for York city.  (The Pennine Way is a National Trail in England that runs along the Pennine hills for 429 km (267 mi) from Edale, north through the Yorkshire Dales and the Northumberland National Park and ends at Kirk Yetholm, just inside the Scottish border.)

Oxford joins King Henry in the chapel.  Oxford has charge of almost 6,000 men.  And there are more men coming. 

The Mayor of York tells the rebels that the gates will be opened only for King Henry.  The plotters are upset and very mad at the failure of "their Northern friends" to come over to Edmund.  The current plan is to march south until Henry makes an appearance.  Their immediate goal is to reach Towton in the Selby district of North Yorkshire, England.  Along the way they will take Newark.  (Newark-on-Trent is a small market town in County Nottinghamshire west of Lincolnshire.)

The Lord of Bedford talks with Oxford.  Oxford tells Bedford that they have caught two spies:  Christopher Swan and John Mayne.  (The prisoners have obviously been badly beaten.)  Bedford gives the order to hang the two traitors.  Then Bedford tells Oxford that they know Kildare is heading for Newark, but have held off at Southwell, Nottinghamshire.  That is not very far away and soon the battle will begin. 

Lambert comes into the tent of the war council and says that he must lead his men into battle.  When the men do not listen to him he reminds them that he is King Edward.  At this Lincoln flies into a rage, grabbing Edmund by his garments and screaming at him:  "Christ, you little upstart, you are nothing like a king!  If any, I am king by my right, my blood and my audacity! . . .  The crown is mine and I shall have it!"  Kildare tells Simmons to take Edward away and not let him come out until the battle has concluded. 

Bedford tells Henry that the rebels are crossing the River Trent from Southwell, three miles below Newark.  Henry goes over to a map on the floor and tells Bedford to show him.  Bedford indicates the way the rebels will come at Newark.  There is high ground at Newark.  Henry says that they will march out of Nottingham and intercept the rebels along the ridge near Newark.  Uncle Bedford will command the rear, Lord Strange the main group and Lord Oxford will command the van out front.  Oxford is very happy to get a real command post and thanks Henry profusely.   The field by the ridge will be called Stoke Field and that is where they will face the rebels. 

A battle takes place (not shown). 

The jailer tells Edmund that they say Henry has lost the battle.  He adds:  "Dead, perhaps, and you'll be for it."  This really scares Edmund though he tries not to show it. 

In his suit of armor Henry waits for news of the battle.  Meanwhile the Bishop of Meath tells Simmons and Lambert that they better flee now for Kildare is dead.  "The ditches are running blood."  They start to flee but are quickly grabbed by the forces of Henry.  Lincoln seeks to be hidden but no doors will open to him.   

Lincoln is killed by Henry's soldiers and his body brought into Henry's tent.  Henry says he will hang the soldiers who killed Lincoln for he wanted to force the traitor to talk.  Bedford tells him to cheer up.  There are plenty of prisoners from who they can find out the needed information.  Kildare alive and Martin Schwartz are brought into see the King.  Henry berates them for a short while and then he has them taken from his tent, along with the dead body of Lincoln. 

Henry tells Oxford that now he is starting to believe that he is actually the King.  Oxford tells him that Lovell drowned in the River Trent.  "The rest you may hang."  Oxford then calls three other prisoners into the tent:  Lambert, Simmons and the Bishop of Meath.  He spares the life of the Bishop and then tells him to get out!  Father Simmons is to be hanged.  Henry talks to Lambert saying that he committed a great sin by stealing another's name and title.  Indeed, "So great a crime that you must die for it."  He explains that the rebels lost 4,000 men, while Henry lost 2,000.  A total of 6,000 men.  "Dead on your account."  The boy is guilty of treason.  Therefore, Lambert will be hanged; cut down while still alive; his head will be severed from his body; and his limbs quarters and displayed on city walls.  Lambert starts crying, goes down on his knees and says he's sorry. 

Kildare and Schwartz are brought back in.  The King tells Lambert to serve them and Oxford some wine.  If Lambert serves them well, then perhaps Lambert can serve the King.  Then he turns his attention to his prisoners.  "So, my masters of Ireland, you would crown apes at last!"  Then he offers a toast to his new servant:  Lambert Simnel, the King.  Henry places a paper crown on Simnel's head.  Oxford and the two prisoners toast to the King, Lambert Simnel.  They laugh at the very idea and Henry laughs too. 

 

Episode 5.    The Serpent and the Comforter.

A man named Tuts goes to look at an inmate known as a heretic.  The heretic turns his head so Tuts doesn't 't get too good of a look at him.  He comes back and says to the jailer that he never saw a heretic before and that it must be terrible to be damned for all eternity.  The jailer says the heretic might recant his heresy.  But for this particular heretic, he will be burned at the stake.  He has been tried and found guilty before. 

The bishop speaks with Henry about the heretic who has just arrived and been imprisoned because he followed the teachings of John Wycliffe.  (Wycliffe was known as "The Morning Star of the Reformation" because he was an early dissident (14th century) in the Roman Catholic Church.  He preached anticlerical and biblically-centered reform and also founded the Lollard movement.)  Henry is curious about the heretic and tells the bishop that he wants to speak with him. 

Tuts and other soldiers bring the heretic to Henry and then leave.  Henry tells the heretic that it is his Christian duty to try and save the man's soul from the fires of hell.  He says he begs the heretic to recant.  He says that the heretic is guilty of the sin of pride.  The heretic, in self-defense, says:  "It is not pride, my Lord, but true conviction. . . . It is not God I oppose but the Church. . . . Far too many priests abuse their position and corrupt the true meaning of the Christian faith."   The heretic makes one too many good defenses and the King calls for his guards, who take the man back to his cell.  The heretic is tortured. 

Tuts wakes up from the heretic's screams.  He sneaks into the jailer's room and takes the keys.  He pays a visit to the heretic.  Tuts says he brought the prisoner some wine.  The heretic says that this will get Tuts into real trouble, but Tuts says it will not.  The heretic drinks some of the wine, but then immediately gives the container back to Tuts.  Then Tuts asks why the prisoner didn't recant.  The prisoner says he cannot.  "Having come this far, I can't die dishonestly with a lie on my lips."   Tuts says that the lads say that he is a follower of Satan.  The heretic laughs.  He starts to explains his heresy, but Tuts tells him he is too afraid to hear the heresy for it may well be the words of the devil.  But with some more discussion, the heretic gets to explain a lot of things to Tuts.  He says to the soldier:  "My chief crime is to question the authority of the Church."

Tuts is relieved to learn that the heretic believes in the Christian God and not the devil.  He also comes away thinking that the heretic is a very brave man to risk an eternity in the fires of hell. 

Henry asks the Bishop if the heretic recanted while on the rack?  No.  The Bishops says that Satan gives the prisoner strength.  Henry confesses:  "This man has haunted my thoughts, waking and sleeping."  The King says that it's regard, almost affection for the man.  And, so, the King tells the Bishop to send the prisoner to him at 11 o'clock. 

Henry says that he was discourteous to the prisoner.  He tells the heretic that he was very curious about him.  How does a man live outside of God's grace and comfort?  As the heretic explains his outlooks on theological matters, the King says he has found a common thread in all his positions:  reason and common sense.  And he denies mystery.  He suggests that the heretic just accept the teachings of the church.  He says the man is arrogant and so rejects the church's teachings. 

Henry tells the Bishop to go an pray for the prisoner.  The Bishop is shocked.  Pray for a heretic?  The King says yes, because he is a man and we share a common humanity. 

Tuts visit the jailer says he's upset because he must attend the burning of the heretic at early dawn tomorrow.  He has to help feed the fire. Tuts says he liked the man and now he has to see him burn.  The jailer says:  "Burn on earth and burn in hell."

The heretic prays to God for pity, mercy and strength.  He is bothered by hearing the voices of others questioning his beliefs.   He is very afraid.

The Bishop comes to see the King to tell him:  "My Lord, he recants."  Henry jumps out f his seat to say:  "God of grace."

Tuts comes in to see if the prisoner is ready for the execution.  He tells the heretic that he is disappointed to hear that the man recanted his beliefs.  When the heretic repeats the words of the King, Tuts yells at him:  "You don't believe it!  You're just making excuses."  The heretic says he fears that he has been wrong this whole time.  God's grade can save him from the serpent of reason.  The guard tells the heretic:  "God bless you!"

The prisoner goes to his execution.  Tuts is the one who has to light the fire.  The flames get bigger and bigger and the heretic burns.  Tuts is visibly upset. 

Following the execution, the King visits the place of execution.  He picks up the burned skull and asks:  "Well, my friend.  What is the answer?"

 

 

Episode 6.  The White Hart.

Master Ratcliffe is headed for London, England tonight via Calais, France.  He says:  "The future of England is here in the Court of Burgundy . . .  In the person of Prince Richard of York."  He is the French heir.  Richard has given Ratcliffe letters for the Archdeacon Hussey, the Dean of Paul's, Mountford, William Daubenay and Chamberlain to the Royal court Sir William Stanley (Lord Thomas' brother). 

Ratcliffe asks Archdeacon Hussey where is Sir William Stanley?  He's over by the bailey door.  Ratcliffe also asks when was the royal child, Prince Henry, dubbed?  This morning in St. John's Chapel.  Henry has a brother, the Prince of Wales.  Hussey also tells Ratcliffe that Lord Thomas Stanley, the King's father-in-law, is sitting snug and sheltered. 

Hussey go over and tells William Stanley that messages for him have come through Robert Clifford via Ratcliffe and from the French lad. 

The King and his court come in.  The King pulls his advisers close to him.  He asks if Sir Edward is all set to go to Ireland?  Yes, he is.  He will have 400 men and his orders are to subdue the great Earl of Kildare.  Sir Edward will administer in the name of Prince Henry who is Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.  Lord Derby asks the King if he will lead an expedition against France?  King Henry says that "we are done with wars".  He is now more interested in trade.  Derby asks:  "Then you'll not unseat the pretender, Richard of York?"  The King insist that Richard's name is Warbeck.  Derby warns that many people think that Prince Richard is the son of King Edward, who was murdered with his brother in the Tower.  The King insists Richard is Perkin Warbeck and he is just a pesky gnat. 

Lord Oxford comes to see clergyman Morton.  He tells the Archdeacon that Sir Robert Clifford is here from Antwerp.  Furthermore, he has placed Clifford in custody because the man is a traitor.  The fellow went to Antwerp and conferred with that young man calling himself the fourth King Richard of England.  Oxford adds that " . . . Antwerp is half filled with disgruntled Yorkists."  Oxford says the reason for being here is that Clifford says the King has granted him pardon and safe conduct.  so, now he wants to know:  "Is Clifford a man of yours?"  Morton says he is because he is the King's pensioner.  "He awaits his pension and forgiveness."  Morton actually told Clifford to go see Oxford.  Morton wants Oxford to take Clifford tomorrow by boat to Greenwich.

The King gives his Queen a ruby ring.  He talks about his plans for their children.  He says his first son Arthur will marry the princess of Spain and Margaret will be Queen of the Scots.  His mother comes in to say that her brother Jasper is dying. 

 

 

 

Episode 7.  A Fly in the Ointment.

 

 

 

 

 

Episode 8.  The Princely Gift. 

 

 

 

 

 

Episode 9.  Do the Sheep Sin?

 

 

 

 

Episode 10.  The Man Who Never Was.

 

 

 

 

Episode 11.  The Strange Shapes of Reality. 

 

 

 

Episode 12.  The Fledgling.

 

 

 

 

Episode 13.  The King Without a Face. 

 

 

 

 

 

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.


Historical Background:

1422-1461  --  first reign of Henry VI (House of Lancaster).

1452  --  Edmund Tudor becomes Earl of Richmond.

1455-1485  --  War of the Roses.  Series of civil wars between two branches of the House of Plantagenet:  House of York and House of Lancaster.

1456 --  three months before the birth of the future King Henry VII, his father, Edmund Tudor, was captured while fighting for Henry VI in South Wales against the Yorkists. He died in Carmarthen Castle, three months before Henry was born.

1457  --  birth of the future Henry VII of England at Pembroke Castle in the west of Wales. His father was Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond, and his mother was Lady Margaret Beaufort.  Since his father was dead, Henry's uncle, Jasper Tudor, the Earl of Pembroke and Edmund's younger brother, undertook to protect the young widow, who was only 13 years old when she gave birth to Henry.

1461-1470  --  first reign of Edward IV (House of York).   When Edward IV became King, Jasper Tudor went into exile abroad. Pembroke Castle, and later the Earldom of Pembroke, were granted to the Yorkist William Herbert, who also assumed the guardianship of Margaret Beaufort and the young Henry.

1469  --  Henry lived in the William Herbert household till this year.   Herbert was captured fighting for the Yorkists and executed by Warwick.

1470  --   Jasper Tudor returns from exile and brings Henry to court.

1470-1471  --  second reign of Henry VI (House of Lancaster).  Restored by Warwick, the "King Maker".

1471-1483  --   second reign of Edward IV (House of York). 

1471  --   Henry fled with other Lancastrians to Brittany, where he spent most of the next 14 years.

by 1483 --  the future Henry VII was the senior male Lancastrian claimant to the throne remaining, after the deaths in battle or by murder or execution. Also by 1483, his mother, despite being married to a Yorkist (Lord Stanley), actively promotes Henry as an alternative to Richard III.

1483  --  At Rennes Cathedral on Christmas Day 1483, Henry pledged to marry Edward IV's eldest daughter, Elizabeth of York, who was also Edward's heir since the presumed death of her brothers, the Princes in the Tower. Henry then received the homage of his supporters.

1483  --  reign of Edward V (House of York).  Around the age of 12, he may have been smothered to death. 

1483-1485  --  reign of Richard III (House of York).

1485-1509  --  reign of Henry VII (House of Tudor).  End of the War of Roses. 

1485  --  Henry lands in Mill Bay, Pembrokeshire, close to his birthplace. With him is uncle Jasper and the Earl of Oxford.  Henry got the support of the Welsh because of his Welsh birth and ancestry.

1485  (August 22)  --   Henry's Lancastrian forces decisively defeated Richard's Yorkist army at the Battle of Bosworth Field. Several of Richard's key allies, such as the Earl of Northumberland and William and Thomas Stanley, switched sides or left the battlefield. Richard III's death at Bosworth Field effectively ended the Wars of the Roses.

1486 (January 18)  -- Henry VII marries Elizabeth of York at Westminster.  This united the Houses of York and Lancaster.  Henry had Parliament repeal Titulus Regius, the statute that declared Edward IV's marriage invalid and his children illegitimate.  By doing this, he legitimized his wife.

1486  --   collapse of the Stafford and Lovell Rebellion without fighting.

1487  --  rebellion by Yorkists led by Lincoln.  They supported Lambert Simnel, a boy who was claimed to be the Earl of Warwick, son of Edward IV's brother Clarence (who was actually a prisoner in the Tower). The rebellion was defeated and Lincoln killed at the Battle of Stoke. Henry made the boy Simnel a servant in the royal kitchen.

1489  --  Henry VII concludes the Treaty of Medina del Campo, by which his son, Arthur Tudor, was married to Catherine of Aragon.

1490  --  a young Fleming, Perkin Warbeck, appeared and claimed to be Richard, the younger of the "Princes in the Tower". Warbeck won the support of Edward IV's sister Margaret of Burgundy.

1491  --  Perkin Warbeck leads an attempted invasion of Ireland.

1491 --  birth of the future King Henry VIII. 

1495  --  Perkin Warbeck persuades James IV of Scotland to invade England in 1496.

1497 --  Warbeck lands in Cornwall with a few thousand troops.  He is captured and executed.

1499  --  Henry has the Earl of Warwick executed. He spares Warwick's elder sister Margaret. (She survives till 1541, when she is executed by Henry VIII.)

King Henry VII introduces the King's Council that keeps the nobility in check.

1502  --   Henry VII's heir, Arthur, dies suddenly. Henry, Duke of York, becomes heir to the throne and will be named King Henry VIII.

1503  --  Henry VII's wife dies in childbirth.

1509  -  death of Henry VII at age 52 from tuberculosis.

 

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