Thursday 21 March 2013

The Wars of the Roses - Part One

Queen Mathilda
What happened when a king died?
Who would normally inherit?
The crown went to the first-born son,
A system of some merit.

Daughters didn't count for much,
Which doesn't seem that fair.
A girl might be the oldest child
But wouldn't be the heir.

That ruling's only just been changed,
As on the news we've seen.
If Will and Kate's first baby is a girl
She shall be queen.

King Stephen 1135-1154
(There was once a queen Matilda,
Who was also known as Maude,
But in the list of monarchs
She is usually ignored.

A clear and named successor -
Henry One was this girl's Dad -
She was ousted by her cousin Steve,
Whose reign was very bad.)

But women could have influence,
Weren't always mild and meek,
Especially of their menfolk
Proved pathetically weak.

Officially, a king could choose
The next to have the throne.
And sometimes a usurper,
Would steal it as his own.

Edward III 1327-1377
But rules of primogeniture,
(The oldest, then next oldest),
Would be obeyed by all
Except the greediest and boldest.

Edward, King of England,
The third to bear that name,
For fathering a bunch of lads
For much must take the blame.

Two sons gave rise to dynasties -
Each the other's bitter rival,
And some men stop at nothing

To ensure their own survival.

These houses both had emblems,
Which would name their coming fight.
The red rose was Lancastrian.
The York rose was pure white.....

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