There is good reason to suppose that the Beauforts had gone so far as to contemplate a forced abdication on the score of the king's ill-health.
The quarrel of father and son was political only, though it is probable that the Beauforts had discussed the abdication of Henry IV., and their opponents certainly endeavoured to defame the prince.
Arundel was backed by Thomas duke of Clarence, the kings second son, who was an enemy of the Beauforts, and not on the best terms with his own elder brother, the prince of Wales.
In 1441 the duchess of Gloucester had Beauforts been arrested and charged with practising sorcery d against the health of the young kingapparently not ngan without justification.
For seven years,, and strong suspicion arose that there was a project on foot to declare the Beauforts heirs to the throne, the claim of Richard of York, as the representative of the houses of Clarence and March, was raised by those who viewed the possible accession of the incapable and unpopular Somerset with terror and dislike.
No one dreamed of raising against King Edward the claims of the Edward remoter heirs of John of Gauntthe your~g earl of Richmond, who represented the Beauforts by a female descent, or the king of Portugal, the grandson of Gaunts eldest daughter.
His plan was to unite the causes of York and Lancaster by wedding the Lady Elizabeth, the eldest sister of the murdered princes, to Henry Tudor, earl of Richmond, a young exile who represented the very doubtful claim of the Beauforts to the Lancastrian heritage.
Had assented to the legitimating of his brothers the Beauforts, he had attached a clause to the act, to provide that they were given every right save that of counting in the line of succession to the throne.