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Richard III

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Richard III

Post  princess garnet on Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:01 pm

First topic message reminder :

Gareth Russell writes about a funeral today for Richard III--from earlier this week:
http://garethrussellcidevant.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/a-state-funeral-for-richard-iii-dont.html
I thought I post it here for those who want reread or missed it.

On the Princes in the Tower, I read Alison Weir's book on the subject. Here's a passage I agree with; she writes that it's damaging how "the simple fact that the Princes disappeared for good whilst under the King's protection, as prisoners, and that Richard gave no explanation of what happened to them nor made any reference to their continuing extistence..." (p.164)

Citation
Weir, Alison. The Princes in the Tower. New York: Ballantine Books, 1994.

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Re: Richard III

Post  Elena on Thu Nov 28, 2013 7:19 pm

Calling upon the Queen to decide on Richard's funeral arrangements.
http://www.medievalists.net/2013/11/27/call-to-end-unseemly-squabbling-over-the-burial-of-king-richard-iii/
What is being dubbed as ”the (legal) Wars of the Roses Part 2″ got underway in a High Court in London on Tuesday, as proponents of Richard being buried in either Leicester or York began their arguments. The judicial review will determine whether the Ministry of Justice should have allowed archaeologists from the University of Leicester to remove the remains, later confirmed as those of those of the king, and to announce that he would be reinterred in the city’s cathedral. The challenge was made by a group known as the Plantagenet Alliance, which believe that the 15th century king should be buried in York (which is where Richard wanted to be buried).

Meanwhile Joe Ann Ricca, Founder and Chief Executive of the Richard III Foundation, released a statement calling for a new method to settle the dispute: ”Following yesterday’s adjournment of the judicial review instigated by the Plantagenet Alliance, and with arguments becoming ever more heated over the choice of burial place for the King, now is the time to say ‘enough is enough’ and put a stop to the unseemly squabbling.

“We should think of King Richard and let him rest in peace. The Richard III Foundation therefore calls upon Her Majesty The Queen to intercede on behalf of her predecessor King Richard, and in the interests of the Monarchy as an institution, and to call a halt to these constant arguments.

“It is for the present Sovereign to decide the most appropriate place for her predecessor to be buried, and I am sure that Her Majesty would be able to settle this matter once and for all by making a recommendation that would allow King Richard to rest in peace at last.”

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Re: Richard III

Post  Elena on Thu Dec 19, 2013 8:04 pm

Here is an article about Richard's eldest sister, Anne of York.
http://www.susanhigginbotham.com/blog/posts/guest-post-by-lauren-johnson-daughter-of-york-the-life-of-anne-of-york/

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Re: Richard III

Post  Elena on Sun Jan 19, 2014 7:19 pm

Richard III at the Blue Boar http://www.medievalists.net/2014/01/14/a-19th-century-painting-of-king-richard-iii/

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Re: Richard III

Post  Elena on Sun Jan 19, 2014 7:55 pm

Very interesting article about how beloved Richard was in the north of England. http://medievalessays.blogspot.com/2014/01/king-of-north-richard-iii-and-city-of.html


After Edward IV became king, he gave his brother Richard, Duke of Gloucester lands in the north of England to govern, including the borderlands of Scotland and some of the most prominent cities in the north of England.  Richard had been in control of the north since 1461 under his brother Edward IV.  His relationship with the north had already been growing.  Soon after he wed Anne Neville, he was granted more lands, and the forfeited lands of Warwick.  Richard was then dubbed, “Warden of the West Marches of Scotland.”  During the summer of 1482, Richard invaded Scotland at King Edward's command to control unrest from the relations and political upheaval coming out of France.  Richard’s relationship with the north of England was not always one of championing for his brother the king, but one of good relations with its cities.  One such city, York, was not only was a city that he had close relations with, but it was also a city that greatly loved and supported him. By looking at this relationship between king and city; we can gather quite a different picture of what Richard was really like, definitely not one of tyrannical sorts. 
 
Battle of Bartlet c.Geoffery Wheeler

York was a great city that deeply honored and held Richard in highest esteem. They looked to him in economic hardship for help and in returned granted him the warmth and welcome befitting to a great king.  This is seen in by the many gifts of generosity to his family.  Because Richard had spent much of his youth in Northern England, Yorkshire and Middleham Castle, he was very close and had close patronage in the north. It was here he made generous donations and contributions to the church, held great parties displaying gifts to its citizens and gifts to him as well. In showing such support on the day of his coronation, the mayor and Alderman traveled to Middleham Castle to bring his son, Edward gifts of wine and food. (Source: History of York; http://www.historyofyork.org.uk/themes/medieval/king-richard-iii-and-york)

Besides growing up in the area at Middleham Castle, his visits to York seemingly few were actually of note of the times. We know that once he was king, he visited York a few times, one time for three weeks in 1483.  (One source noted that Richard was actually in York, when the famous princes in the Tower went missing or ill befell them.) Noted in the city chronicles, he was presented with gifts, and it was this trip that his son was crowned Prince of Wales, at the Minister in York. This was more than likely followed by great and elaborate festivities in the city.  Richard also had the bodies of his father, Richard of York and brother Edmund in 1476, moved to the church in Fotheringhay his birthplace, to the church for reburial. The reburial celebration not only did it bring jobs to the area by requiring masons to build of the additional tombs, but it brought great festivities honoring his father and brother.  The simple act of moving his dearly departed family back to rest in the north, not only shows closeness and ties to a land of his upbringing but it exhibits much love and admiration.


Being a very pious and openly religious man; he made many generous contributions to the church in the area, not just the placing of his family in Fotheringhay church.  It is speculated that he had planned to be buried at York Minister. A debate that has been quite a hot topic of late, adding that he had planned to have a large chapel built in his honor as well, to pray for his soul, once he passed on.  Whether his intentions were written down, this I am unsure of, his generosity and work to place various colleges in the area, and gifts could have been a result of his last intentions.  One of the biggest and surviving contributions Richard made to the north was the college he had in stalled in Middleham in 1478.

The relationship Richard had with his tidings in the north and the city of York, were quite evident and on good terms through out his reign. The city archives note with great sadness, emotion, and heartbreak with the outcome of the battle of Bosworth where their beloved Richard had fallen:


“Were assembled in the counsail chambre where and when it was shewed by diverse persons and especially by John Sponer send unto the feld of Redemore to bring tidinges frome the same to the citie, that King Richard late mercifully reigning upon us was thrugh grete treason of the ducof Northfolk and many othere that turned ayenst hyme, with many othre lordes and nobilles of this north parties, was pitiously siane and murdred to the grete hevynesse of this citie, the names of whome foloweth hereafter.”

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Re: Richard III

Post  Elena on Sun Jan 19, 2014 8:03 pm

More here: http://www.medievalists.net/2014/01/12/the-art-of-recovering-richard-iii/


The phrase “real Richard III” entered the public conversation about the archaeological dig for Richard’s grave through the Society’s most outspoken supporter, screenwriter Philippa Langley, who has described the effort as a “search [for] the real Richard III” and its outcome a success (Cullinane). The presentation of forensic evidence by the University of Leicester and the subsequent projects generated by the exhumation of the king’s remains attest to the ambiguity both of this “real Richard III” and of the recovery effort’s success. For the Society, the unearthed skeleton is not in itself real enough. Langley and her fellow Ricardians seek a reappraisal of the character of Richard III — an anatomy of the interior man that the skeleton alone cannot provide. To the layperson’s eye, the skeleton is a mere assemblage of surfaces that offers no legible interior. Without the skin and tissue that participate so centrally in our construction of inside and outside, surface and depth, the skeleton lacks the hidden, irrecoverable essence by which we identify “real” people. Peggy Phelan has written that “the flesh we crave as confirmation of our forms cannot do anything but turn us forever out even as we burrow into and into the holes we find there”. Looking for the mind or heart of Richard reveals only skull, ribs, spine, pelvis, or the blank of the black display cloth. Even the skull’s empty eye sockets cannot offer windows to the soul that the Ricardians seek. They are only craters that curve back outward, returning us back to the surface of bone.

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Re: Richard III

Post  Elena on Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:50 pm

http://tiny-librarian.tumblr.com/post/75177958635/full-length-figure-3-4-left-in-armour-with



The archetypal wicked king.


http://tiny-librarian.tumblr.com/post/75836076042/portrait-of-richard-iii-half-length-wearing-hat



And here is my Historical Novel Society review of the Jones and Langley book about the search for Richard called The King's Grave.
http://historicalnovelsociety.org/reviews/the-kings-grave-the-discovery-of-richard-iiis-lost-burial-place-and-the-clues-it-holds/

The King’s Grave is a history-making book which I had trouble putting down. The final hours of Richard III, England’s last Plantagenet king and her last king to die on the battlefield, are carefully reconstructed by historian Michael Jones. Richard’s life before his fateful meeting with Henry Tudor on Bosworth Field on August 22, 1485 is analyzed as well, accompanied by intense scrutiny of his personality and motives.
In addition to the historical narrative is Philippa Langley’s moving account of how she found King Richard buried under the car park in Leicester. Langley’s love for the King and her conviction of his innocence of the crimes of which he is so often accused add pathos to the story of the obstacles surmounted in her search for Richard. I was struck by the details about the past which literally surface in an archaeological dig, requiring a combined knowledge of history with forensic science in order to interpret them. Langley and Jones build a portrait of a man who was highly religious but shrewd in political matters; who loved justice but could be ruthless when the occasion demanded it; who put duty before personal feelings. Most of all, as a soldier his courage was praised even by his enemies, especially in his heroic stand on Bosworth Field.

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Re: Richard III

Post  Elena on Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:59 pm

And here is Richard's burial crown, newly forged.
http://www.johnashdownhill.com/johns-blog/2014/2/6/first-pictures-of-richard-iiis-funeral-crown


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Re: Richard III

Post  Elena on Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:03 pm

The family of Richard III. http://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portraitLarge/mw123655/King-Richard-III-Queen-Anne-Edward-Prince-of-Wales-Margaret-Countess-of-Salisbury-and-Edward-Earl-of-Warwick?LinkID=mp86852&search=sas&sText=Edward+of+Middleham&role=sit&rNo=0

The little girl is the future Countess of Salisbury, Blessed Margaret Plantagenet Pole, martyred for the Catholic faith by Henry VIII. Next to her is her brother Edward Of Warwick, who was murdered by Henry VII after years of imprisonment.


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Re: Richard III

Post  Mata Hari on Sun Mar 23, 2014 3:42 pm

Here is a post about the death of Richard's wife, Queen Anne. http://tudorqueen6.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/16-march-1485-the-death-of-queen-anne/
Today, 16 March, in 1485, the death of Lady Anne Neville at Westminster Palace at the age of 28. Anne was Queen consort to Richard III from 26 June 1483 until her death. Anne was a younger daughter of Sir Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick and 6th Earl of Salisbury, known in history as ”the Kingmaker”, and Lady Anne Beauchamp, suo jure 16th Countess of Warwick.
Anne was betrothed to King Henry VI and Queen Margaret’s son, Prince Edward as a truce between the Lancastrians and Warwick and Clarence, when being exiled in Brittany.
Shortly after Warwick’s defeat at Barnet, on Easterday 1471 Queen Margaret and Prince Edward returned from France and were decisively defeated. Prince Edward was killed in the battle of Tewkesbury, and King Henry VI was executed soon after, making Anne widow at the age of just 15.
Luckily, Anne’s sister Isabel and her husband Clarence agreed to take in Anne and by 1474, Anne was married to Richard Duke of Gloucester.
When Richard took the throne in 1483 Anne was crowned with him in the Abbey on 6 July in a joint coronation. Their son Edward, Prince of Wales, died in 1484. Anne had a magnificent funeral and was buried on the southern side of the Abbey near the altar. No stone or monument marked her grave, possibly because Richard was killed that year at Bosworth.


Also in the news, Richard III supporters campaign in the streets of York for Richard to be buried at York Cathedral, in the city where he was greatly loved.
http://www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/11071278.display/

Richard III campaigners stage march through York

2:05pm Wednesday 12th March 2014 in News

York Press: Venessa Roe 16th niece of Richard III joins supporters before a march through the streets of York campaigning for his remains to be returned to the city . Venessa Roe 16th niece of Richard III joins supporters before a march through the streets of York campaigning for his remains to be returned to the city .

CAMPAIGNERS calling for Richard III's remains to be buried in York staged a march through the city today, prior to a High Court hearing tomorrow.

Supporters of the Plantagenet Alliance, a group of descendants including Richard's 16th great-niece Vanessa Roe, gathered at Clifford's Tower this morning before parading through the city centre to raise awareness of the issue.

The monarch's skeleton is due to be re-interred in Leicester Cathedral after being found under a car park in the city in 2012.

But the Alliance has brought a judicial review in an attempt to have the burial licence quashed and a consultation launched on where he should be interred.

Its legal representatives will argue during a two day hearing that the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), which granted the licence, failed to consult the public.

Vanessa said: "York has very strong connections with Richard. This is where he grew up, his family is from the north of England.

"He only spent nine days in Leicester, which was a Lancastrian place. It has no connections with him whatsoever."

She said Leicester's argument was just one of 'finders, keepers.'

Mary Ann Dearlove, from York, said she was taking part in the march because 'this is where he belongs, not under some car park or even some cathedral a long way away.'

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Re: Richard III

Post  Elena on Thu Apr 03, 2014 7:47 pm

Now there appears to be an argument over whether the skeleton really belongs to Richard III.
http://www.historyextra.com/news/was-skeleton-found-leicester-car-park-really-richard-iii?utm_source=Adestra&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=NLT_HIST_28-03-14_responsive_

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Re: Richard III

Post  Bunnies on Fri Apr 04, 2014 4:06 pm

Pff, no - it's not Richard III. It's the other descendant of Cecily Neville who suffered from Scoliosis who was killed on Bosworth field and buried by the Gray Friars.

I agree, the evidence is circumstantial and wouldn't hold in a court of law (but what about Richard ever does?) but c'mon what're the sheer odds of this being another guy?
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Re: Richard III

Post  Elena on Fri Apr 04, 2014 4:12 pm

Laughing Laughing I agree.

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Re: Richard III

Post  Elena on Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:43 am

http://kingrichardinleicester.com/yorkshire-post-disappointed/
It’s apparently a campaign they’re running, with a ‘public poll, to sign up for where people think Richard III should be buried – York or Leicester – which at the last count was running 85%-15% in favour of York. What a surprise!

So how does that make us feel down here? How might we respond? There is, of course, a temptation to respond in kind. It might be possible, for example, to compare the massacre in 1190 of of York’s entire Jewish population with Leicester’s well-deserved reputation as one of Britain’s most diverse cities, where people of all faiths and none happily co-exist. But to do so would be unfair and plain wrong. About as wrong, in fact, as the ill-thought out campaign being run by the Yorkshire Post. Presumably someone, somewhere, thought it was a neat idea to boost circulation figures by drumming up a little of that famous Yorkshire patriotic feeling. Or did they possibly think this last minute effort would somehow sway the view of the three learned High Court judges, whose ruling on the matter we all now eagerly await?

It’s the politics of the playground. Which is at least consistent, given that one of the chief planks of the ‘case’ against reinterment here in Leicester was the claim that somehow it was based on ‘finders keepers’. As if matters of the facts of history and fitting treatment of the dead of whatever rank or station, could be settled by cheap jibes and slogans! Really, some of those getting all excited about the matter seem to believe it’s to be treated on the level of X-Factor, or the football terraces.

But it isn’t. Not, at least, as we see it. The phrase we repeatedly use to describe our approach is Dignity and Honour. And that’s not because it’s a slogan. We really mean it. The Dignity we all owe each other as human beings, made in the image of God. And the Honour a nation ought to show to its former King – however divided we may be as to his personal qualities, or the nature of his reign.

Of course York Minster is a great and glorious building. Of course it’s historic and attracts vast numbers of tourists and visitors. No doubt an extra king buried in there (were it legally permissible – which by the way we understand it’s not) would do all that that nothing but good. And similarly, no doubt a reburial in Leicester Cathedral will do our city’s tourism offer no harm. But that’s not the point – is it? This is not about one city battling another – let alone one Cathedral taking up arms against another. We have nothing but good things to say about our colleagues up there. And they about us, as far as I’m aware!

What it is about is accepting the facts of history. Responding to the amazing story of discovery, spearhead by the Looking for Richard project, and enabled by the skills of the University of Leicester. And doing the right thing in the present with what’s been presented to us.

We didn’t ask for this. But if we’re given it, we intend to do it properly and honourably. And to do it, not for the sake of some narrow local pride, but for the country as a whole. Leicestershire, in the heart of England, as historic a city as any, with a Cathedral in the heart of its city, maybe not grand, but dating back to the 11th century itself, can represent all that is best about our nation. Including that unique self-deprecating sense of humour that doesn’t so much boast about how great we are, but smiles quietly to itself.

After all , even our car parks are fit for a king. Apparently.

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Re: Richard III

Post  Elena on Fri May 23, 2014 11:00 pm

The fight rages on. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-leicestershire-26790933

From the BBC:
Archaeologist Richard Buckley, who led the excavation and delivered the official announcement which declared Richard's identity "beyond reasonable doubt", insisted the conclusion was right.

"The identification is based on so many elements. Yes you can argue that the carbon dating covers an 80-year-period but look at all the other elements: the battle injuries, the age of the individual, the DNA.

"Even if you say 'It could be another high status person killed in the Wars of the Roses', you then have to look at the fact he had a curved spine, and was buried where Tudor historians said Richard III was buried, in the way they said he was buried - 'without pomp and ceremony'"
Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-leicestershire-26790933



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Re: Richard III

Post  Elena on Sun Jun 01, 2014 9:08 pm

On Richard's spine. He had scoliosis. http://archaeology.org/news/2153-140530-richard-iii-spine-twist

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Re: Richard III

Post  Elena on Mon Jun 02, 2014 6:22 pm

Richard to be denied burial at York minster. http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/dominicselwood/100273010/king-richard-iii-these-bones-may-not-be-his-but-if-they-are-they-deserve-a-catholic-burial-in-york/

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Re: Richard III

Post  Elena on Sun Jun 22, 2014 1:52 pm

Richard's tomb. http://artdaily.com/news/70838/Leicester-presents-designs-for-the-tomb-that-will-house-the-remains-of-King-Richard-III-#.U6bDi6JoH1X

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Re: Richard III

Post  Elena on Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:39 pm

Interesting article on Richard's eating and drinking habits. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-leicestershire-28825653
A study of the teeth and bones of Richard III show the king drank up to a bottle of wine a day in the last years of his life.

The research by the British Geological Survey and University of Leicester revealed he also ate exotic meat including swan, crane, heron and egret.

Samples were taken from a femur, rib and tooth after his remains were unearthed in Leicester in 2012.

His diet was "far richer" than other high-ranking people of the time.

"We know he was banqueting a lot more, there was a lot of wine indicated at those banquets and tying all that together with the bone chemistry it looks like this feasting had quite an impact on his body in the last few years of his life," British Geological Survey's geochemist Dr Angela Lamb said.

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Re: Richard III

Post  Elena on Sun Sep 14, 2014 12:14 am

Anglican Archbishop and Catholic Cardinal Archbishop to officiate at the obsequies for Richard III.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/11080345/Archbishop-of-Canterbury-likely-to-lead-funeral-of-Richard-III.html
The Archbishop of Canterbury is likely to lead mourners at the televised funeral of King Richard III, found buried under a Leicester car park.

The Right Reverend Tim Stevens, Bishop of Leicester, confirmed The Most Reverend Justin Welby would attend Leicester Cathedral for the King’s funeral in March next year.

He will be joined by his equivalent figure in the Roman Catholic Church, the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster Cardinal Vincent Nichols, and representatives of other faiths to bury the Last Plantagenet King with “dignity and honour”, Bishop Tim said.

Richard III is currently the only English monarch without a marked grave after his remains were found buried under a car park in Leicester two years ago.

The burial in Leicester follows a lengthy wrangling between the Plantagenet Alliance, set up by descendants of the family of Richard III who wanted him to be reinterred in York Minster, and Leicester Cathedral and University, who wanted him buried in Leicester.

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Re: Richard III

Post  Elena on Mon Jan 05, 2015 7:37 pm

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-leicestershire-30642231 Funeral of Richard III will be on January 12, 2015. From the BBC:

Thousands of people have applied to an online ballot for a seat at the reburial of King Richard III at Leicester Cathedral next year.

More than 13,500 people have applied online for entry to three services to mark the reinterment of the king.

There will be 200 seats for the public at the reburial, with a further 400 spaces at two other services.

The Dean of Leicester said there had been "lots of interest" with applications from around the world.

The ballot opened on 12 December and 5,000 people applied on the first day.

Hundreds more paper forms have been received by the cathedral and are yet to be counted.

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Re: Richard III

Post  Neopelagianus on Sat Jan 10, 2015 3:28 pm

Let a York Use of the Rite of Salisbury be celebrated. There is no sense in having a funeral using the Book of Common Prayer or the New Missal.

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Re: Richard III

Post  Elena on Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:06 am

I agree! I love you

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Re: Richard III

Post  Neopelagianus on Tue Feb 10, 2015 2:45 am

Elena wrote:Richard's tomb. http://artdaily.com/news/70838/Leicester-presents-designs-for-the-tomb-that-will-house-the-remains-of-King-Richard-III-#.U6bDi6JoH1X

A tomb designed in the Pugin Gothic style might be more appropriate.

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Re: Richard III

Post  Elena on Sat Mar 07, 2015 2:07 pm

True. Here is a great article by Richard III scholar John Ashdown-Hill:
http://www.historyextra.com/article/richard-iii/6-myths-about-richard-iii
Myth 1: Richard was a murderer

Shakespeare’s famous play, Richard III, summarises Richard’s alleged murder victims in the list of ghosts who prevent his sleep on the last night of his life. These comprise Edward of Westminster (putative son of King Henry VI); Henry VI himself; George, Duke of Clarence; Earl Rivers; Richard Grey and Thomas Vaughan; Lord Hastings; the ‘princes in the Tower’; the Duke of Buckingham and Queen Anne Neville.

But Clarence, Rivers, Grey, Vaughan and Buckingham were all executed (a legal process), not murdered: Clarence was executed by Edward IV (probably on the incentive of Elizabeth Woodville). Rivers, Grey and Vaughan were executed by the Earl of Northumberland, and Hastings and Buckingham were executed by Richard III because they had conspired against him. Intriguingly, similar subsequent actions by Henry VII are viewed as a sign of ‘strong kingship’!

There is no evidence that Edward of Westminster, Henry VI, the ‘princes in the Tower’ or Anne Neville were murdered by anyone. Edward of Westminster was killed at the battle of Tewkesbury, and Anne Neville almost certainly died naturally. Also, if Richard III really had been a serious killer in the interests of his own ambitions, why didn’t he kill Lord and Lady Stanley – and John Morton?

Morton had plotted with Lord Hastings in 1483, but while Hastings was executed, Morton was only imprisoned. As for the Stanleys, Lady Stanley was involved in Buckingham's rebellion. And in June 1485, when the invasion of his stepson, Henry Tudor was imminent, Lord Stanley requested leave to retire from court. His loyalty had always been somewhat doubtful. Nevertheless, Richard III simply granted Stanley's request - leading ultimately to the king's own defeat at Bosworth.


Myth 2: Richard was a usurper

The dictionary definition of ‘usurp’ is “to seize and hold (the power and rights of another, for example) by force or without legal authority”. The official website of the British Monarchy states unequivocally (but completely erroneously) that “Richard III usurped the throne from the young Edward V”.

Curiously, the monarchy website does not describe either Henry VII or Edward IV as usurpers, yet both of those kings seized power by force, in battle! On the other hand, Richard III did not seize power. He was offered the crown by the three estates of the realm (the Lords and Commons who had come to London for the opening of a prospective Parliament in 1483) on the basis of evidence presented to them by one of the bishops, to the effect that Edward IV had committed bigamy and that Edward V and his siblings were therefore bastards.

Even if that judgement was incorrect, the fact remains that it was a legal authority that invited a possibly reluctant Richard to assume the role of king. His characterisation as a ‘usurper’ is therefore simply an example of how history is rewritten by the victors (in this case, Henry VII).


Myth 3: Richard aimed to marry his niece

It has frequently been claimed (on the basis of reports of a letter, the original of which does not survive), that in 1485 Richard III planned to marry his niece, Elizabeth of York, eldest daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville. There is no doubt that rumours to this effect were current in 1485, and we know for certain that Richard was concerned about them. That is not surprising, since his invitation to mount the throne had been based upon the conclusion that all of Edward IV’s children were bastards.

Obviously no logical monarch would have sought to marry a bastard niece. In fact, very clear evidence survives that proves beyond question that Richard did intend to remarry in 1485. However, his chosen bride was the Portuguese princess Joana. What’s more, his diplomats in Portugal were also seeking to arrange a second marriage there – between Richard’s illegitimate niece, Elizabeth, and a minor member of the Portuguese royal family!


Myth 4: Richard slept at the Boar Inn in Leicester

In August 1485, prior to the battle of Bosworth, Richard III spent one night in Leicester. About a century later, a myth began to emerge that claimed that on this visit he had slept at a Leicester inn that featured the sign of a boar. This story is still very widely believed today.

However, there is no evidence to even show that such an inn existed in 1485. We know that previously Richard had stayed at the castle on his rare visits to Leicester. The earliest written source for the story of the Boar Inn visit is John Speede [English cartographer and historian, d1629].

Curiously, Speede also produced another myth about Richard III – that his body had been dug up at the time of the Dissolution. Many people in Leicester used to believe Speede’s story about the fate of Richard’s body. However, when the BBC commissioned me to research it in 2004, I concluded that it was false, and I was proved right by the finding of the king’s remains on the Greyfriars site in 2012. The story of staying at the Boar Inn is probably also nothing more than a later invention.


Myth 5: Richard rode a white horse at Bosworth

In his famous play about the king, Shakespeare has Richard III order his attendants to ‘Saddle white Surrey [Syrie] for the field tomorrow’. On this basis it is sometimes stated as fact that Richard rode a white horse at his final battle. But prior to Shakespeare, no one had recorded this, although an earlier 16th-century chronicler, Edward Hall, had said that Richard rode a white horse when he entered Leicester a couple of days earlier.

There is no evidence to prove either point. Nor is there any proof that Richard owned a horse called ‘White Syrie’ or ‘White Surrey’. However, we do know that his stables contained grey horses (horses with a coat of white hair).


Myth 6: Richard attended his last mass at Sutton Cheney Church

It was claimed in the 1920s that early on the morning of 22 August 1485, Richard III made his way from his camp to Sutton Cheney Church in order to attend mass there. No earlier source exists for this unlikely tale, which appears to have been invented in order to provide an ecclesiastical focus for modern commemorations of Richard.

A slightly different version of this story was recently circulated to justify the fact that, prior to reburial, the king’s remains will be taken to Sutton Cheney. It was said it is believed King Richard took his final mass at St James’ church on the eve of the battle.

For a priest to celebrate mass in the evening (at a time when he would have been required to fast from the previous midnight, before taking communion) would have been very unusual! Moreover, documentary evidence shows clearly that Richard’s army at Bosworth was accompanied by his own chaplains, who would normally have celebrated mass for the king in his tent.

John Ashdown-Hill is the author of The Last Days of Richard III and the Fate of his DNA (The History Press, January 2013).

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Re: Richard III

Post  Elena on Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:23 pm

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/mar/18/leicester-prepares-for-richard-iii-reburial

More on the reburial:

Leicester is filling up with yellow road signs, warning of the return of the once and future king: “King Richard III Route Sunday 22 – expect delays”.

Many have been wondering how to get hold of them to keep as
souvenirs of an extraordinary episode in the history of the city and county, as the final preparations get underway for the 21st century reburial of a medieval king.

It is more than two years since the bones rediscovered by archaeologists under a council car park in the heart of Leicester, were formally identified as those of the last Plantagenet king.

In 1485 the burial by Franciscan friars was unceremonious. In the heat of August, several days after his death at Bosworth, he was buried hastily in a roughly-dug grave slightly too small for his naked body. This time a week of events will surround the reinterment on Thursday 26 in the cathedral – delayed for a year by a legal challenge claiming that he should have been buried in York – including a procession on Sunday through the countryside associated with the last days of the last Plantagenet, led by two knights in armour on horseback.

There will be prayers in the cathedral from two archbishops, Justin Welby and Vincent Nichols; open-air religious services; live television broadcasts to an audience of millions; lectures, art exhibitions and book launches; flower festivals; concerts of medieval music; fireworks and the first ringing of a new peal of bells composed for Richard.

In the cathedral the £2.5m remodelling outside and in is almost complete. Beautiful red sandstone slabs, inset with four small white stone roses, have been laid in the new space created behind the altar, where purple drapes now cover a brick-lined pit ready to receive the coffin. The work disturbed seven previously unrecorded burial vaults, and their dozens of occupants have been reverently gathered up and reburied. The tomb of the Vaughns, a 19th-century vicar and his family, which began to peel off the wall from the vibrations from the work, has been boxed in for safety and will be restored later.
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“We’re almost there,” the Rev Pete Hobson said. “The new altar is due to arrive with just two or three days to spare – when it comes I’ll breath more easily.”

People are coming from all over the world not just for the cathedral, where every seat could have been filled a hundred times, but to myriad events in the small villages and towns usually bypassed by tourists: they include a Last Plantagenet Dinner at the Red Lion in Market Bosworth, where school children have made half a mile of bunting and the medieval costumes have arrived for all the staff of Chocol8s sweet shop selling shields ornamented with white chocolate roses.

In the village of Sutton Cheney representatives of the local council, the highways authority, the cathedral, villagers, the vicar and churchwardens, gathered to measure with a stop watch every second of the ten minutes the cortege will stop on Sunday afternoon on its slow way to the cathedral. It won’t allow enough time to come into the church of St James the Greater, where Richard is believed to have taken his last communion before the battle, so Julia Hargreaves will hold a prayer service at the gate. Clerk Shelley Howard arrived a little late, having taken a phone call from somebody in Ohio asking if they could come to the previous night’s candlelit service. “They wanted to know how much the tickets were,” she said, shaking her head in amazement.

A country lane leads from the village street to Ambion Hill, where Richard’s troops are believed to have camped on the eve of battle, now the site of the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre where a major open air ceremony will be led by the Tim Stevens, the bishop of Leicester. When tickets went online 10 days ago, the website crashed within minutes: every member of staff came in to deal by phone with thousands of enquiries.

Richard Mackinder, operations manager at the centre, is slightly worried about the impact of the event on passionate Ricardians: “When the dead body of a medieval king – the real remains of a man some of these people have idolised for much of their lives – passes within a few yards, I think it’s going to be an unimaginable experience. We have to prepare for every eventuality.”

The churchyard at Dadlington gives a panoramic view of the entire battle landscape, from Ambion Hill to the marshy corner of a field at Fen Lane, several miles away, where Richard lost his horse in a last desperate charging attempt to kill the future Henry VII, lost his crown and his helmet, and then lost his life to two savage blows to the base of his skull.

The village was so close to the fighting that some accounts called it the battle of Dadlington, and a small blue sign in the graveyard records that the bodies of hundreds who fell on both sides were buried there. On at least three occasions in the last two centuries, most recently in the 1950s, pits of bones were found as graves were being dug for village funerals.

After the cortege passes through, the tiny village has organised an entire day of events, centred on the village green and hall – which they decided last month was looking unacceptably shabby and within a fortnight, using local volunteers and donated materials, completely redecorated inside and out.

Dadlington usually divides its sympathies between the two sides, but the villagers have already packed the church on a Saturday night, put Richard on trial for the murder of his nephews, the Little Princes in the Tower, and found him not guilty: “you may leave without a stain on your character,” Jacqui Morton, a former banker acting as judge for the night, assured him.

The battlefield centre usually flies the standards of both Richard and Henry Tudor – “without wanting to appear like the Stanleys”, Mackinder said, of Richard’s former ally who lurked on the fringes of the battle until he saw which way the wind was blowing and then threw in his forces with the Tudors, “we usually have to sit on the fence a bit” – but on Sunday will only fly Richard’s.

At Sutton Cheney, on the anniversary of the battle every August, churchwarden Mary Burgess includes a little red posy with the white flowers she lays for Richard, to remember the dead of both sides. “But on Sunday we’ll have white flowers only,” she said. “This is the day for Richard.”

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