Earl of Lincoln and Viscount Lovell land in Ireland with 2000 mercenaries

John de la Pole and Francis Lovell landed in Ireland with 2000 Swabian and Swiss Troops on 5th May 1487. The remaining senior Yorkists remained resolute in their bid to regain the crown. The Earl of Lincoln, John de la Pole and Francis, 1st Viscount Lovell had gathered support on the continent.

Map of Medieval Dublin, a city sympathetic to the Yorkist cause
Walls of Medieval Dublin.

Mercenaries for Lambert Simnel’s Army

Support, from Margaret Duchess of Burgundy, enabled them to hire 2000 mercenaries. These mercenaries were highly skilled, coming from forces well versed in the most modern military techniques.

With Lambert Simnel at their head, having been proclaimed to be Prince Edward and therefore the rightful Yorkist King of England, they sailed to Ireland.

Dublin as a Yorkist stronghold

In Ireland, they were sure of a warm welcome. The Irish in and around Dublin had, by and large, been incredibly supportive of the Yorkist cause throughout the wars.

The sight of 2000 well-armed mercenary troops would encourage many Irish to offer support and join the Yorkist army. Sympathetic lords joined the Yorkist force. The pretender was even crowned King in Dublin.

The army grew in size, though the raw recruits’ quality of training and arms was questionable. It was a significant force though, and additional, battle-hardened men were expected to join the cause upon taking the fight over the sea to England.

This would then allow them to follow Richard Duke of York’s footsteps and make a landing in Northern England or Wales from where they could make their bid for the crown.

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Image Credits

Lambert Simnel being hailed as king. I’ve seen it attributed as public domain with James Ward as the artist. Not convinced so if anyone can confirm the origin please let me know in comments.

Map of the walls of Dublin by Leonard R. Strangways, 1904. Via Wikipedia.

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