Who was ‘Lambert Simnel’?

Yesterday (24 May) was the anniversary of the coronation in Dublin of the person who later became known to history as ‘Lambert Simnel’. This is a subject very close to my heart as I’m about the publish the second of two novels covering the story.

Matthew Lewis posted on Facebook about it yesterday at Matthew Lewis Author:

As he wrote: ’24 May 1487 Coronation in Dublin of King Edward. The key info of a regnal number is missing.

History tells us he was a boy from Oxford named Lambert Simnel impersonating the Earl of Warwick.

I say that was a lie.


I find it very difficult to disagree with Matt here – especially given I’ve written two whole books based on this same premise…

But who exactly was the Dublin King?

Following is a brief excerpt from the first of my two books about him, King in Waiting. Don’t forget to watch out for publication of the second, Sons of York, next month… Further details coming soon…

Chapter 26 – No Longer King in Waiting

The day of the coronation dawned clear and bright.

I woke early. Soft fingers of sunlight were slinking through the window of my antechamber and playing warm across my cheek. I had barely slept at all until the later watches of the night, knowing what the coming day was to bring.

I roused myself, plashed water from the waiting basin upon my face and hurriedly dressed before knocking and entering Edward’s chamber.

Had he too perhaps had little rest? He did not say, but sat already in the window recess, clad in undershirt and hose, gazing out upon the early bustle in the courtyard. The morning sun splashed gold upon his tousled hair and the paleness of his face as he turned to me.

‘My stomach churns, Matthew,’ he said by way of greeting. ‘As it did when we were upon the sea all those months ago. Yet I do not find that the castle has transformed overnight into an ark upon a tossing sea. Nor that an earthquake has occurred and set the ground to trembling. The grooms and servants out there,’ he gestured through the stone mullions, ‘seem to be about their business as usual. If a little busier perhaps.’

He sent another look towards me as I lingered in the doorway. The shadow of a smile slipped across his lips and was gone. At that moment he reminded me more of his uncle Richard than he ever had before.

A tremor ran through me at the memories stirred, but I shrugged them aside, lifting up my hands, full of the platter of bread and cheese and jug of watered wine I had collected on my way.

‘Will you break your fast before your body servants come to dress you?’

‘Nay. I think that would be tempting fate – or tempting my quaking stomach to betray me.’

‘The food may help settle it.’

He shook his head.

‘I would rather keep my insides and my head clear today – the day I truly become king.’

And indeed, he bore himself like a true king all day. From his robing in the rich velvet and cloth of gold garments his aunt had sent from Burgundy. Through the solemn procession along streets lined with cheering crowds of men, women and children stretching from the castle to the grey bulk of Christ Church Cathedral, crouched like a sleeping lion in the midst of the tangle of city streets. To the rituals of anointing and crowning within the cathedral’s cavernous depths, and the joyous celebrations that came after – when at last he could relax and enjoy the day and the feasting and entertainments it brought.

I and my friends were honoured with a place in the royal procession, loyal servants of the new king and his lords as we were. My own view of it was perhaps not so clear as that of the last coronation parade I had seen – that of my lamented master King Richard in Westminster less than four years before. Then I had watched from the sidelines, my mouth agape at the finery on display, at the beauty of the gowns and banners, the richness of the regalia – of crowns, sceptres, gem-encrusted swords – and overwhelmed by the tremendous blasts of the trumpets, the heralds’ cries, the crowds’ cheers and hurrahs. But to be in the midst of it as we were on this day, as the procession wound through the hordes of excited onlookers – rather than being such an onlooker myself – was an experience I would not have missed for all the riches in the world….

Coming Soon: SONS OF YORK, book 4 of The Order of the White Boar

Alex Marchant is author of two books telling the story of the real King Richard III for children aged 10+, The Order of the White Boar and The King’s Manand a third in the sequence, King in Waiting, which continues the adventures of the young members of the Order in the following years. A fourth book, Sons of York, is due out in 2022.

Alex is also editor of Grant Me the Carving of My Name and Right Trusty and Well Beloved…, two anthologies of short fiction inspired by King Richard, sold in support of Scoliosis Association UK (SAUK). 

Alex has also published a standalone timeslip novel for readers aged 10+, Time out of Time, relating the adventures of Allie Turner through a doorway into history found under layers of old wallpaper at ancient Priory Farm.

Alex’s books can be found on Amazon at:








My Facebook author page 

My Twitter handle  and Matthew Wansford’s

Instagram: AlexMarchantAuthor

About alexmarchantblog

A Ricardian since a teenager, and following stints as an archaeologist and in publishing, Alex now lives and works in King Richard’s own country, not far from his beloved York and Middleham
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