THE RIGHT OF CONQUEST. Maev Kennedy in the Guardian quotes a researcher who says that finding the false paternity could involve digging up a lot of bodies and that the digging up was not going to happen. The part of me which enjoys reading the New York Post and the Daily Mail had an initial reaction that, to satisfy my historical curiosity, only a few bodies would have to be tested—those between Edward III and Richard II and between Edward III and Henry VII. As a Ricardian, I would settle for only digging up Henry VII.

After reflecting further, I changed my mind. Seniority by royal blood was a plus factor, but not decisive in choosing a king. Paul Rincon quotes an historian who points out that Henry VII claimed the throne “by right of conquest” not by blood or marriage. And before him, Henry IV’s claim for deposing Richard II was based on military force.

Only love of scandal would justify further digging.

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