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Henriad Averted

Gary Oswald

Well-known member
Sea Lion Press staff
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#2
Speaking as a reader, rather than an editor, I love this article. It' s a comprehensive look at an interesting POD.

I do think, however, that Leo overestimates the success of Richard's Irish campaigns. He arrived in 1394 in Ireland with 10,000 men to secure the pale against attacks from the irish warlords who ruled the majority of the Island. That Army did launch expeditions into Irish controlled land but the Irish refused to offer battle and faced with guerrilla warfare, Richard had difficulty supplying his force. So it spent most of its time in Ireland sitting in Dublin wherein Richard asked the irish lords to come and submit to him. Now they largely did do that and agreed fealty, which is why Richard claimed it as being a success, but that's because the army was there. As soon as he left, they renounced that and went back to warring, killing the lord of the pale in 1398. All Richard achieved was nine months of peace because there were 10,000 men sitting in Dublin making attacking it impossible. Unless he can keep them there it doesn't work long term.

Which is why his second expedition happened, it wasn't a follow up to a successful first. It was to attempt to do what the first hadn't, which was inforce peace permanently. In the second campaign Richard marched on Leinster for a second time but again couldn't bring the Irish warlord Art to battle and was forced to retreat to Dublin before his army starved. There he vowed that he'd stay in Ireland long enough to finally kill Art but was forced to return home to fight Henry IV.

Upon Henry IV's crowning we get this letter from his man in Ireland on the position there. 'There are no soldiers for the defence of the land and no money to pay them. The irish enemies are strong and arrogant and of great power, the english marchers are unwilling to march against them'.

The Lancastrians never really changed that, they exchanged victories and losses with the irish but not the larger picture. But they never led troops in Ireland personally like Richard did and they never committed so many men as Richard did. The argument Leo makes here is that Richard has more focus on Ireland so will be more successful but given that everything he did in Ireland prior to him being deposed didn't actually work, I'm not convinced. It seems more likely you'll just get more marches and retreats and more empty submissions that are renounced as soon as he leaves.
 

Alex Richards

She needs an artificial Mountain, not AV
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Location
Derbyshire
#3
Some interesting thoughts there. I do wonder whether Henry of Monmouth would stay loyalist however- it seems like there's a very plausible clash that could occur between a young Henry trying to lay full claim to his inheritance, and a domineering monarch trying to keep some measure of control for as long as possible.
 

Death's Companion

General Ugg Apologist.
#4
I think that assuming he gets a healthy heir and no noble opposition happens just because one key figure dies is a bit of a stretch, he was a tyrant, he wasn't that politically or militarily astute and he seemed to have a habit of arbitary and ill thought out actions. I imagine its a question of who he pisses off instead rather than him reigning decades longer unopposed.
 
#5
@Leo Welles
What a wonderful article! I know next to nothing about British history, and you made it marvelously approachable and interesting.What I truly enjoyed was how you wove in events from elsewhere on the continent to provide context. In particular, your recounting of the battle of Nicopolis--the highpoints of one of my favorite historical figures, Bayezid I-- was excellent. I would like to ask a quick question, actually, involving the aftermath of Bayezid's victory. What if Henry survives not only the harrowing combat at Nicopolis, and the plague afterwards ala Johannes Schiltberger? Schiltberger was basically the German version of Marco Polo--surviving Nicopolis, captured by the Ottomans and joined their ranks, then survived Ankara and joined Timurlane, in the process going through a wide-sweep of central asia before returning home.
I just wonder how much more interesting it could be if Henry managed to survive and follow Schiltberger. Maybe he's strike up a friendship or acquaintanceship with Stefan the Tall, or manages to wheedle his way back to England?
Again, I don't think this will be a huge needle-mover on the stage of history. The battle of Ankara almost certainly still happens the way it does, but perhaps Henry becomes a force in local politics rather than returning to England--the Byzantines (I know they never called themselves that but so goes convention) would certainly want a good general for hire.
I started a thread a while back about what happens if Bayezid I takes Constantinople in 1402--and got some fascinating replies. While we're alternate-historying, what if Henry was there when it fell?
 

Gary Oswald

Well-known member
Sea Lion Press staff
Pronouns
he/him
#6
@Leo Welles
What a wonderful article! I know next to nothing about British history, and you made it marvelously approachable and interesting.What I truly enjoyed was how you wove in events from elsewhere on the continent to provide context. In particular, your recounting of the battle of Nicopolis--the highpoints of one of my favorite historical figures, Bayezid I-- was excellent. I would like to ask a quick question, actually, involving the aftermath of Bayezid's victory. What if Henry survives not only the harrowing combat at Nicopolis, and the plague afterwards ala Johannes Schiltberger? Schiltberger was basically the German version of Marco Polo--surviving Nicopolis, captured by the Ottomans and joined their ranks, then survived Ankara and joined Timurlane, in the process going through a wide-sweep of central asia before returning home.
I just wonder how much more interesting it could be if Henry managed to survive and follow Schiltberger. Maybe he's strike up a friendship or acquaintanceship with Stefan the Tall, or manages to wheedle his way back to England?
Again, I don't think this will be a huge needle-mover on the stage of history. The battle of Ankara almost certainly still happens the way it does, but perhaps Henry becomes a force in local politics rather than returning to England--the Byzantines (I know they never called themselves that but so goes convention) would certainly want a good general for hire.
I started a thread a while back about what happens if Bayezid I takes Constantinople in 1402--and got some fascinating replies. While we're alternate-historying, what if Henry was there when it fell?
Fascinating possibilities. Henry as a captive of the Ottomans is a story waiting to happen.

I must say if you, and others, are newly interested in this period of British history, you're in luck. We have three more articles about the wars of the roses era to come.