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WILLIAM STUBBS Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects

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Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

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WILLIAM STUBBS
Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects
page 399



XV.] QUESTION OF TITLE. 393 told that Henry VII had not in his own person a shadow of hereditary right; that is a view not uncommonly taken in the schools; it is concise, and not hard to remember. But it is not exactly true. The whole question of the title of the house of Lancaster is a matter of dispute ; and the title of the house of York has always, curiously enough, been a point on which extreme legitimists and extreme advocates of popular right have agreed. Edward IV was heir-general of Edward III, therefore he pleases the legitimists ; he came to the throne by a revolution, therefore he satisfies their extreme opponents. From a legal point of view it is different ; Henry V I was the heir, in the male line of succession, of Edward III, and also, by descent from Henry IV, was heir-male of a new purchaser under a new and parliamentary title. Henry VII's title was of course very debateable. With relation to Edward III, he was not heirgeneral, for that place belonged to the daughters of Edward IV : nor was he heir in the male line of succession, because .the line was broken in the person of his mother. With relation to John of Gaunt, accepting the legitimation of the Beauforts by king, pope, and parliament, he was heirgeneral ; whilst with reference to Henry IV, he can hardly be said to have been heir by collateral descent or heir at all. But a question arises, on what analogy does the royal succession proceed. If on the analogy of a private estate, then Henry VII, as the nearest kinsman to Henry VI on the side of the purchaser Henry IV, had a claim to succeed : that claim was barred, it is said, by reason of the half-blood ; and to that the answer is given that the doctrine of the half-blood does not affect the royal succession. If, on the other hand, we take for analogy the descent of peerages limited to heirs male, there can be no question that the Earl of Warwick was the right heir through the line of York, irrespective of the line of Clarence ; but Warwick's claim and that of all the


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