Sunday, August 22, 2010

Ricardus III Anglorum Rex Requiescat in Pace

Repeat from last year:

". . . King Richard left Nottingham and marched to Leicester, arriving there on the 19th of August. Here he gathered his army. Two days later he marched out to meet Henry Tudor at Bosworth Field on the 22nd of August. Here he fought his last battle, supported by the Duke of Norfolk, who was killed, but betrayed by Thomas Lord Stanley and his brother Sir William Stanley, whose sudden switch to Tudor's side at a crucial moment lost Richard the battle and his life." (Richard III; The Road to Bosworth Field, P. W. Hammond and Anne F. Sutton. London: Constable, 1985; p. 214)

"The York City Council had (slightly inaccurate) reports of the battle on the day after it was fought. In their own Minutes they provided Richard III with a lasting epitaph.

"On the 22nd day of August Anno Domini 1485 at Redemore near Leicester there was fought a battle between our Lord King Richard III and others of his nobles on the one part, and Harry Earl of Richmond and others of his followers on the other part. In this battle the foresaid King Richard in the third year of his reign, John Duke of Northfolc . . . .

"Tuesday the vigil of St. Batholomew,
that is 23rd August in the year etc., the throne being vacant
We assembled in the counsaill chamber, where and when it was shewed by diverse persones and especially by John Sponer send unto the feld of Redemore to bring tidinges from the same to the citie that king Richard late mercifully reigning upon us was thrugh grete treason . . . piteously slane and murdred to the grete hevynesse of this citie . . . ." (op cit., p.223)

One interesting thing about this 525-year-old story is that Lord Stanley was married to Margaret Beaufort, who was -- Henry Tudor's mother.

Another is that Shakespeare's "Richard Crookback" was written during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, who happened to be -- Henry Tudor's granddaughter.

A third is that had Richard won the battle, there very probably would have been no Henry VII or Henry VIII, thus no split of the Church in England from Rome.

And a fourth, which ought to surprise no one, is that this kind of lying and character-blackening goes on even today.

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