With the re-internment of Richard III, Alan Mason reminds us what it’s all about.
An Ear-splitting Silence
The first modern mystery over the remains (1) of the former King of England, Richard III, (1483-1485), is why there has been no response from Buckingham Palace, Queen Elizabeth II, or any other member of the current royal family. Wouldn’t you expect that they would want a former king to be buried with the honour of a full state funeral in Westminster Abbey, rather than in the cathedral of a provincial city?
The answer to this mystery, I suggest in this essay, is because Richard III was the last really English king of England, succeeded by Welsh Tudor kings, then Scottish Stewart Kings, and finally German monarchs, which is what we have now. The original Tudor claim to the throne was feeble in the extreme, so the Tudors spent much of their time in curtailing the ancient freedoms of the English people, to avoid the risk of being thrown out. They created a police state which took the English people another 200 years to roll back.
The Scottish Stewart claim to the throne is based on the weak Tudor claim, and the German Hanoverian succession rests on the Stewart claim. Of course, no one bothers about disputed royal succession nowadays, but if we are concerned with historical truth the role of Richard III merits some examination.
Why a Leicester Interment?
The remains of Richard III were discovered under a car park in the Midlands town of Leicester in 2012, and they were positively identified by DNA tests in 2013 and they are to be reinterred in Leicester Cathedral, after a legal ruling over counter-claims that York Minster should be their final resting place.
How did the remains of the King come to be under a car park? After Richard’s death at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, his body was taken to the Greyfriars Priory in the nearby town of Leicester, to receive Christian burial by the Priory monks. When all the monasteries and religious houses were closed down, and their treasures stolen, by order of King Henry VIII, around fifty years later, the Greyfriars Priory fell into ruin, and the whereabouts of Richard III’s remains faded from memory.
Propaganda and Falsehood
Much of our current popular knowledge of, and attitudes towards Richard III and his short reign has been coloured by the play written by William Shakespeare a century after the events it portrays, and of subsequent films based upon that play. Bear in mind that Shakespeare’s play was a piece of pure political propaganda. King Henry VII, the successor of Richard III, had a very weak claim to the throne, as did the whole of his Tudor dynasty, and it was important to blacken the character and actions of Richard, his predecessor.
Richard III was described as a hunchback, and seriously deformed. Recent forensic examination of Richard’s skeletal remains has revealed a slight curvature of the spine, “but nothing that could not have been concealed by a skilled tailor.” (“The Lancet”) He would have appeared to be a normal man (2) who had spent most of his adult life in soldiering.
In those times it was believed that “the body was a mirror of the soul” and very simply, handsome and beautiful people were good, while ugly and deformed people had brought the condition on themselves by wickedness. This is clearly a naive and absurd view, but it still persists to this day. Thus, Richard III had to be seen as the incarnation of all that was evil in his person, and in his rule, so England could be saved by the wonderful Henry Tudor.
Setting the Record Straight
This essay attempts to set Richard III within a broad historical context, and re-examine the details of his rise to power. Although his reign was brief, he stood at an important turning point in the political history of England. In any nation-state, then as now, there is a critical balance between the central power and other peripheral powers attempting to challenge it. A quick glance at the daily paper would reveal this problem in many parts of the world of today.
During the Feudal Period the system of land tenure linked to military service worked well with a strong king, but broke down into open warfare when central authority was weak. Richard III’s life (3) lay at the transition between two of these major periods. His reign ended the Feudal Period, and he was succeeded by the Tudor dynasty (4).
THE FEUDAL PERIOD
The essential problem of the feudal system was that it created a whole series of private armies all over the kingdom. If the king himself, or other central authority, was strong and determined the system worked well, but with weak leadership, faction fighting ensued. The weakness was often due to an underage monarch and rule by a group of Regents, but in some cases the king was simply indecisive and hence ineffectual. As this essay is principally concerned with Richard III and his times my review of the Feudal Period is limited to the latter half from the reign of Edward III onwards.
Problems of Royal Succession
For any medieval king it was vital that his wife bear enough sons for the line to be carried on, to keep the dynasty intact. The English king, Edward III (1312-1377) was just a shade too enthusiastic. His wife Queen Philippa of Hainault (in modern Belgium) bore him eleven children, five girls and six boys. That was the start of the trouble over succession to the Crown. Most accounts of this historical period are accompanied by intricate and detailed family trees which can quickly bewilder the reader, but the basic ideas can be more simply explained, and this essay is an attempt to do so.
The Rule of Primogeniture meant that the eldest son inherited all of the estate on the father’s death. It also applied to the succession to the Crown. It was a failure, by younger sons, to accept that only the eldest brother, and his line, could become King, which led to dynastic conflicts. As shown (5), Edward III had six sons, but his second son William, died as a child, so there were five sons who married and had descendents to jockey for position.
The five sons were named initially from their place of birth. Antwerp and Ghent were near their mother’s country of origin of Hainault, in modern Belgium. Disputes over succession usually arose a couple of generations later. The argument ran like this, “If the line of Edward III’s eldest son has failed, then he needs to be replaced by me, from the line of Edward’s second/third/fourth son.”
SUCCESS AND FAILURE IN CROWN INHERITANCE
The story of the failure of each of the lines from the sons of Edward III is a complex one, so this account has been greatly simplified, principally by omitting most of the details of political and military manoeuvring, and the detailed family trees. The table below summarises the broad outlines.
TABLE 1: THE SONS OF KING EDWARD III
|BIRTHPLACE||(The Black Prince)||of Antwerp||of Gaunt (Ghent)||of Langley, Buckinghamshire||of Woodstock, Oxfordshire|
|TITLE||Prince of Wales||Duke of Clarence||Duke of Lancaster||Duke of York||Duke of Clarence|
|DURATION OF DYNASTY||22 years from 1377-1399||Nil||63 years from 1399-1461 +1470-71||24 years from 1461-1470 + 1471-1485||Nil|
|Prince Edward||Various Mortimers, Earls of March||HENRY IV||Various Dukes of York||Various Stafford Dukes of Buckingham|
|RICHARD II||HENRY V||EDWARD IV|
|HENRY VI||RICHARD III|
|ENDGAME||Deposed and murdered||Died of natural causes||Deposed and murdered||Killed in battle||Most killed in battle or executed|
|REASONS FOR END||Underage, weak, unpopular||Female successions||Underage, weak, madness||Tudor Invasion||Tudor Invasion|
This table is only a brief outline, so a few more details are given for each of the lines of succession, but it is possible for readers to skip this material and go straight to the story of the Yorkist line and Richard III.
The Black Prince’s Line
Surprisingly, the line from Edward III’s first son lasted only 22 years. Edward, nicknamed “The Black Prince”, (purely because of the colour of his armour), seemed to be everything his father might have wished for. He was a fine soldier, an effective leader, and had married at the age of thirty-one. Within five years he had two young sons, Edward and Richard.
Then things began to go wrong for his line. His eldest boy, Edward, died aged six, in 1372, and four years later the Black Prince himself, died at the early age of forty-six. When King Edward III died only a year later, the Crown came to Richard, the second son of the Black Prince, who was eleven years old. The problem of an under-age monarch is that Regents have to be appointed to govern for the boy, and if necessary, lead armies into battle. In this situation, there is inevitably some jockeying for position among the great feudal lords.
The original ruling council of senior nobles was led by King Richard’s uncle, the Duke of Lancaster, John of Ghent (or “Gaunt”, as it is often spelled). Right from the start, and even into his early manhood, Richard was constrained by a particular group of five senior nobles.
He dismissed them in 1389 when he was twenty-three, and ruled alone. In revenge, he had one of the five murdered, one executed, and three exiled from England, with the loss of their estates. One of the exiles was Henry, son of John of Ghent, and now Duke of Lancaster, who invaded with an army, persuaded Parliament to depose Richard in 1399, and accept Henry as the new king, Henry IV. A year later, Richard was murdered, leaving no descendents.
The Line of Lionel of Antwerp
Lionel, Duke of Clarence was the second surviving son of Edward III, and although his line came close to gaining the Crown, it was ultimately unsuccessful. The story is a complicated one, so I have reduced it to the bare essentials in the accompanying diagram. The phrase “heir presumptive” means that the person has been legally recognised as the inheritor of the Crown on the death of the current king. As Lionel had no sons the line descended to his daughter, Philippa, who was named after her grandmother, the Queen of Edward III.
She married Edmund Mortimer who was very powerful man in the “Welsh Marches”, the borderlands between Wales and the English Midlands. The Mortimers were ambitious and prone to rebellion. Philippa died soon after Richard II came to the throne, and the presumptive inheritance of the Crown passed to her son, Roger. He was killed in battle in 1398, just a year before Richard II was deposed. Roger’s son, Edmund became the new heir, but he never succeeded, because events were overtaken by the bold action of Henry of Lancaster in seizing the Crown in 1399.
The Line of John of Gaunt, and the Lancastrian Kings
Although John of Gaunt ruled during the time of Richard II’s childhood, there was no love lost between Richard II and Henry of Lancaster, John of Gaunt’s eldest son. A group of five senior nobles, including Henry had ruled during Richard II’s teenage years and clearly intended to continue, even after he came of age at twenty-one. Following their dismissal when Richard was twenty-three, he banished Henry, Duke of Lancaster for ten years and he forfeited his estates, the source of his wealth and influence.
Richard II had promised John of Gaunt on his deathbed that he would allow Henry to succeed to his estates despite the exile, but the king went back on his promise. He seized the lands of Henry of Lancaster, and exiled him for life. In reply, Henry raised an army, took back the Lancaster lands, and called a Parliament in 1399 which deposed Richard II and made Henry the new king, as Henry IV. Richard was murdered the following year.
Things seemed set fair for the first Lancastrian king, Henry IV. He was 33 when he became king, had been married for 19 years, and had four sons to succeed him. His reign was a turbulent one and there were a whole series of unsuccessful rebellions to try to unseat him. He was also aware that it was Parliament that had deposed Richard II and could just as easily depose him.
In his later years he left much of England’s affairs in the hands of his heir, Henry, Prince of Wales. One of the historical puzzles, which I have not yet resolved, is why Henry was made Prince of Wales, and eventually King Henry V. He was the youngest of Henry IV’s sons, not the eldest. Their birth years are: Thomas (1388), John (1389), Humphrey (1390) and Henry (1397).
Henry V and Agincourt
Henry V came to throne at the age of sixteen, in 1413 when his father died. Two years later he led a military expedition into France which culminated in the Battle of Agincourt and a great victory for the English. This made Henry’s reputation as a national hero and secured his name in the history books. At the age of twenty-three he married the French princess, Katherine in 1420, and a year later had a son and heir called Henry.
Then it all began to go wrong. Henry V died in 1422 at the remarkably young age of twenty-five. England was back again to the problem of an under-age monarch, and the need for a Council of Regents. Unlike Richard II who became king at eleven, Henry was a babe in arms, so that the Regency might last for twenty years. One other factor was the nature of the king as he grew older. He was a simple and very pious person who might well have preferred to be a monk. He was quite unsuited to the role of king. In addition, he was prone to occasional bouts of madness and others ruled for him until he had recovered himself.
This led to much disorder, and fighting, in which the ambitions of the Yorkists came to prominence. These men were the descendents of Edmund of Langley, Duke of York and fourth son of Edward III, who now set their eyes on taking the Crown from Henry VI. They succeeded in having Henry deposed in 1461 when he was forty. He was restored again, and deposed again, only to be murdered in 1471, aged fifty.
So, the Lancastrians had held the Crown for a total of sixty-three years, but it all ended for them, as it had for Richard II in deposition and murder of the king. Henry VI’s eighteen-year old son and heir Edward was killed at the Battle of Tewkesbury, only a couple of weeks before his father’s murder.
The Line of Edmund of Langley, Duke of York and the Yorkist Kings
During the reign of Henry VI the Yorkists said they had a better claim to the throne because they were descended from Edward III’s second son Lionel on their mother’s side, and from Edmund of Langley, Edward III’s fourth son on their father’s side. One glance at the table (9) of the Yorkist line of descent shows what a trail of blood led to the Crown, for, of the eight male principals only one, King Edward IV died in his bed.
A Pivotal Year
In this account I have, for the most part avoided details of the military conflicts to concentrate on the dynastic and political issues, but 1460-61 was one of those years of great destiny. Richard, the 3rd Duke of York was the head of the House of York, as an experienced soldier from the French Wars, and he was also the heir presumptive to the throne, as Henry VI had no children. During the King’s two periods of madness Parliament appointed the Duke of York as Protector, to rule for him. Although it is clear that Henry VI was peaceful and easily overridden, his Queen, Margaret of Anjou was a tigress, who hated the Duke of York.
She marched north, with an army, to meet the Yorkists at the Battle of Wakefield, in December, 1460, and defeated them. Richard, Duke of York was killed, and his seventeen-year-old younger son, Edmund, was murdered after the battle. Margaret had York’s head cut off, and mounted on a spike over the gates of York, while wearing a crown of gold paper. It looked as if the Yorkist cause was doomed, but Margaret’s contemptuous cruelty proved very unpopular for the Lancastrians. The new leader of the Yorkists was Richard’s eldest son, Edward, 4th Duke of York aged just nineteen.
As usual, London was the key to ultimate success, so both Edward and Queen Margaret raced for the capital. Edward was in Shrewsbury in the Welsh border, and was only briefly delayed by having to defeat a Lancastrian force at Mortimer’s Cross in February 1461. Margaret reached St Albans, a town on the northern outskirts of London, where she defeated a Yorkist force sent to stop her, also in February 1461. Edward won the race to the capital, and Parliament, with the City merchants, welcomed him. Poor Henry VI was deposed for the last time, and Edward seized throne in March 1461 to become King Edward IV. So, only nine weeks after the death of his father, he had secured the Crown for the Yorkists, although Margaret was still loose.
She had retreated to Yorkshire again, and Edward IV marched north to meet her. By the end of March he brought her to battle at Towton in the moorlands of Yorkshire, and the Lancastrians suffered their greatest defeat. This particular encounter was the largest battle ever to take place on English soil. It is believed that 80, 000 men were involved. There were about 30, 000 casualties, either from battle wounds, or from drowning in the River Cock, below the battlefield, as they tried to escape. The battlefield is still much as it was in medieval times. It seemed that everything was now set fair for the success of the Yorkist cause.
YORKIST TRIUMPH AND DISASTER
The acid political comment, “He managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.” is a once-witty reversal of a common cliché. Everything seemed to be going so well, until one stupid act destroyed it all. This was certainly true of the new Yorkist king, Edward IV. He did not create an immediate disaster for his House, but he laid the foundation for one in the not-too-distant future.
A Politically Disastrous Marriage?
Unfortunately, it was Edward’s personal qualities which were to be his undoing. Basically, Edward was a “skirt-chaser”, which is nothing unusual in kings, but he forgot an important precept, “To secure your succession it is vital to produce legitimate heirs”. Two hundred years later, King Charles II fathered about twenty illegitimate children but failed to produce one legitimate heir and so the succession passed to his brother with disastrous political consequences for the nation.
The problem was that Edward seemed to have fallen for a lady who was not content to be another of his string of mistresses, but had given him the choice, “No bed for you, my boy, without a wedding ring on my finger.” The woman in question was Elizabeth Woodville, (11) daughter of a mere knight, Sir Richard Woodville, and widow of another knight, Sir John Grey, who was killed at the Second Battle of St Albans in 1461. She also had two young sons, Thomas and Richard Grey.
Of all women she was the worst possible person he could have chosen as his Queen. The reasons were that the Woodville clan were not only staunch Lancastrians, but were numerous and ambitious political activists. When Edward died, what did he imagine would happen to his brothers, George, Duke of Clarence and Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who had helped him to secure the Crown? They would be very lucky to keep their heads on their shoulders, as his Lancastrian heir took power.
Edward married Elizabeth Woodville in 1464, three years after he seized the Crown. He was twenty-two and she was twenty-seven. Now where did the King’s wedding take place? Westminster Abbey, presumably, or may be Old St Paul’s Cathedral in the City of London? Well no. The place was so obscure that its name is only known to people local to the district. The King was married in the private chapel of the Manor House in the tiny Northamptonshire village of Grafton Regis. There are a number of towns in England with the appellation, “Regis”, notably Cheltenham, Bognor, and Lyme, but none is as small or as obscure as Grafton. Why on earth would the King of England choose such a “hole in the corner” place for his wedding?
An Invalid Marriage?
It seems that Edward had very good reasons for a secretive marriage, because he had made an earlier contract of marriage to a Lady Eleanor Butler. It was common, in those centuries of dynastic marriages, for quite young children to be affianced to each other. The formal wedding took place some years later when they were old enough to consummate the marriage. Nevertheless, an affianced person was not free to marry outside the contract without, either the death of one of the parties, or some legal negotiations with the other family. Also, as I understand, from a friend who is a canon lawyer, that as this was a royal marriage, Edward should have referred the case to Rome, for a definitive ruling by the Papal authorities.
If a “pre-contract” of marriage existed for Edward he was not free to marry. Had he married publically one of the pre-contract witnesses might have spoken up, and we know one of these was Robert Stillington, Bishop of Bath and Wells, who claimed to have conducted the engagement ceremony. By marrying in secret, Edward hoped to avoid the “pre-contract” becoming a public issue, but it meant his marriage was invalid and any children would be illegitimate and unable to inherit the Crown.
Why Grafton Regis?
The village does not seem quite so obscure when set in its medieval context. In the 1400s England still relied on much of the ancient Roman network of roads. One of the principal routes out of London, towards the northwest, was Watling Street (13), a modern version of the name given to the road by the Anglo-Saxons, and still used to this day; the A5. Its route climbs steadily out of London, drops down the escarpment of the Chiltern Hills, near Dunstable Priory, crosses Buckinghamshire, and heads for the West Midlands or North Wales. Grafton Regis is only about four miles north of Watling Street.
Another important medieval route (14) ran north from Watling Street to Leicester in the East Midlands, and further on to Derby and Yorkshire in the north of England. Part of this route had a famous royal connection, when in 1290, Eleanor of Castile, Queen of King Edward I, died unexpectedly near Lincoln. Her embalmed body was brought south for interment in Westminster Abbey. Later, King Edward had nine stone crosses erected, one at every place where the body of Eleanor had rested. The last was placed at the village of Charing, between the City of London and the City of Westminster. The present Charing Cross in front of the railway station is a 19 C replica.
This route is referred to in Shakespeare’s “Richard III” when the Archbishop, speaking of the southward journey of young Prince Edward and his party, towards London, says, “Last night I heard they lay at Stony Stratford, and at Northampton they do rest tonight: Tomorrow or next day they will be here.”
Surprisingly, for a man of the Midlands, Shakespeare has muddled his geography. The party was travelling from the north, so they would have stayed in Northampton first, before continuing south to Stony Stratford. My reason for discussing this particular route is that Grafton Regis lies about four miles north of Stony Stratford and the Watling Street (14).
It seems probable that King Edward IV chose Grafton Regis for his wedding, because (i) it was only a few days journey from London and (ii) on a main thoroughfare with plenty of inns for accommodation on the way. His principal reason (iii) was because the Manor House of Grafton was owned by the Woodville family who could give him all the privacy he needed for a clandestine marriage. Even today, Grafton Regis is a tiny village (12) and the church and Manor House are tucked away down a minor road and are not visible from the main road, A508 between Stony Stratford and the town of Northampton.
RICHARD III – THE PLAY AND THE FILM
William Shakespeare wrote a whole series of history plays covering much of the Feudal Period described earlier, including “Richard II”, “Henry IV –Parts I and II”, “Henry V”, and “Henry VI”. Although he did not write a play entitled, “Edward IV”, the latter part the events of Edward IV’s reign were included in his play, “Richard III”, to which we now turn
The year 2015 is not only the anticipated time for the formal re-interment of Richard’s remains in Leicester Cathedral, but it is also the 60th anniversary of the famous 1955 film (15) by Sir Laurence Olivier, based on the Shakespeare play, and also entitled “Richard III”. The historical accuracy of both is examined here; bearing in mind that Shakespeare was required to write a piece of political propaganda to serve the Tudor version of the events of recent history. The play was written about 1592-3 when Queen Elizabeth I was aged fifty-nine, and whose reign had another ten years to run. He could not afford to upset the Queen, but he managed to produce an image of Richard III which is so preposterous as to create doubts in the minds of any serious students of the play or of history.
The play begins with Richard’s famous soliloquy, “Now is the winter of our discontent, Made glorious summer by this Son of York.” Here, Richard explains the triumphant success of the Yorkist cause, and the change from war to peace.
The speech incorporates a pun. Edward is indeed a “Son of York” but he is also the Sun of York as his badge is “a White Rose on a Sun in Splendour” (16). Portrayed as a hunchback and cripple, “not being made for sportive tricks”, Richard says, “Since I cannot prove a lover”, “I am determined to prove a villain.” As explained at the outset, the forensic analysis has revealed a slight scoliosis or curvature of the spine, which has been magnified out of all proportion by Tudor propagandists.
Filmic Additions to the Play
By contrast, the film opens with a scene of Edward IV’s coronation and the jollifications that accompany it. Thus it appears to be set about 1471 when Edward was finally restored to the throne. The mourning of Lady Anne (Claire Bloom) for her recently-dead husband, killed at the Battle of Tewkesbury, confirms the year. In historical reality, at this particular time, Edward was twenty-nine, his Queen was thirty-four, Princess Elizabeth was six, and Edward, Prince of Wales, was just a year old. The presentation of Edward with teenage children is a piece of artistic licence.
Sir Laurence Olivier seemed determined to pack the film with theatrical knights. He was accompanied by Sir John Gielgud, and Sir Ralph Richardson, who were well cast as the Duke of Clarence and the Duke of Buckingham respectively, but he had Sir Cedric Hardwicke as King Edward IV. In 1955, Hardwicke was 62 years old, playing the part of a man of 29. This gave the tenor of the role, where Edward was continually portrayed as a credulous and indecisive dotard, (17) which goes well beyond Shakespeare’s text.
Olivier also employed his personal friends in the film, for example, John Laurie, (1897-1980) as Lord Francis Lovell one of Richard III’s close allies. Of course, Laurie was familiar to TV viewers of “Dad’s Army”, a comedy series about the Home Guard in 1940. As Private Frazer, (“We’re all doomed!”), Laurie was rather sniffy about his TV fame late-in-life, as he was “really a Shakespearean actor”. I think any director other than Olivier, would have said, “Look, John, this isn’t Macbeth; you are playing an English aristocrat. Either get yourself an English accent, or we’ll have to find an English actor instead.
The other Scotsman was Andrew Cruickshank (1907-1988) playing Sir Robert Brackenbury, the Lieutenant of the Tower. Shakespeare’s play and the film rather confuse the viewer about the historical role of Brackenbury. Actually, he was one of Richard’s most loyal allies. As Lieutenant of the Tower, he was a most important man, the nobleman in charge of every aspect of this royal palace and one of the key fortresses of the kingdom. It was essential that he was totally loyal to the king. In the play and film he comes across as a glorified warder with lots of motherly sympathy for his prisoners.
Like John Laurie, Andrew Cruickshank had achieved considerable TV fame as “Dr Cameron” in the long-running series, “Dr Finlay’s Casebook”, set in the 1930s and concerning a two-man practice in the fictional small Scottish town of Tannochbrae. It combined nostalgia with medical mysteries. Occasionally, Cruickshank slipped back into his natural Scottish accent, and one almost expected him to say to the highly distressed Clarence (John Gielgud) “Ay shall get Jennet to make you a nace cup of tee.” Janet was the housekeeper, played by Barbara Mullen, whose natural accent was broad country Irish, but who never had any problem with maintaining an accurate Scottish accent.
According to G B Harrison (References C) there is no historical evidence for Richard’s outrageous wooing of Lady Anne as she mourns the loss of her first husband. The direction of Claire Bloom in playing Lady Anne (18) left something to be desired. She had to be so tearful, mimsy, vulnerable, and so continually wistful one wanted Richard to make away with her as soon as possible.
The Shakespeare play is quite long and Olivier cut it quite drastically to create a suitable screenplay. In an interview with Roger Manvell, Olivier explained, “If you are going to cut a Shakespeare play, there is only one thing to do, lift out scenes. If you cut the lines down merely to keep all the characters in, you end up with a mass of short ends.”
For this reason, many of the parts,
particularly those of the women, were drastically reduced or
Although the costume department reproduced the fashions of the mid-fifteenth century accurately, some of the outfits made the wearers faintly risible. The big hats wound round the head, worked well for Richard, (Olivier), Buckingham (Ralph Richardson) and Catesby (Norman Wooland) but I found the little conical hats and the prominent bottoms in white tights were rather comic. The Queen’s eldest son, by her first marriage, Marquess Dorset, played by Douglas Wilmer was difficult to take seriously (19). In reality, he was 20 years old, but being played by a thirty-five-year-old Wilmer.
Richard plots the death of his elder brother, George, Duke of Clarence, by insinuating to King Edward (17) that he was guilty of treachery. “False, fleeting, perjured Clarence,” is how Shakespeare describes him. John Gielgud’s sensitive portrayal of Clarence in the film is at variance with the unreliable and treacherous nature of the real man. His murder in the Tower, in 1477, was well represented in the film, by Michael Gough and Michael Bates as the two villains.
In the play script, the murderers are involved in seven pages of debate with their victim, Clarence, whereas the film wisely keeps this very short. The original lines from the play, “Take him on the costard with the hilts of thy sword,” (Hit him on the head with the butt of your sword) needed updating to be understood by modern audiences. “Costard” means “apple” and was a slang term for the head. A “costard-monger”, later, “costermonger” was a seller of apples, fruit and vegetables from a large wheeled stall.
Edward’s Queen, Elizabeth Woodville, was played splendidly by Helen Kerridge, who brought the right note of elegance, faded beauty, and a foreboding of sorrow to her part (20). The play and film give the impression that she had only three children by Edward IV, her daughter Elizabeth of York and the two boys, Edward and Richard, (the Princes in the Tower), but in fact she had at least ten children: Elizabeth(b.1465), Mary (1466), Cecily (1469), Edward (1470), Margaret (1472), Richard (1473), Anne (1475), George (1476), Katherine (1479), and Bridget (1480), but Margaret and George died as children.
OUTCOMES OF THE WOODVILLE MARRIAGE
One of the first aspects of Edward’s marriage to Elizabeth Woodville was the promotion of her numerous relatives to higher rank and positions of power and influence. Her father and her first husband had been no more than knights, the lowest rung of the nobility. Her brother, Sir Anthony Woodville was made an Earl, and Thomas Grey, her first son by Sir John Grey was made a Marquess. Shakespeare has Richard of Gloucester (later Richard III) say sarcastically, “Wrens make prey where eagles dare not perch. Since every Jack became a gentleman, there’s many a gentle person made a Jack.” The term “jack” was serious insult, because it meant someone was sub-human, not just an ordinary person. A Jack was a mechanical figure, used on big clocks to strike the hours on a bell with a hammer.(23) Jacks were also human figures, painted on wood or metal sheets, and used in kitchens to support the turning of a roasting spit.
Early Death of Edward IV
Edward IV reigned for 22 years, from 1461 to 1483, and when he died in 1483, he was only forty-one. Once more, England was hampered by an under-age heir, as Edward’s eldest son was only thirteen years old. It had been arranged for the late King’s brother, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, to act as Protector or Regent. Now the problems of Edward IV’s idiotic marriage came home to roost.
Richard was now the senior and only adult Yorkist, his elder brother, George, Duke of Clarence, having been murdered six years earlier. It became very clear that Richard as Protector was actually in great danger from the Lancastrian Woodvilles. Richard was well aware of the illegality of Edward IV’s Woodville marriage and the fact that his two sons had no right to the Crown.
Consequently, in an Act of Parliament, the Titulus Regius (Royal Title – 1 Ric III) he declared his nephews illegitimate, on the grounds of the pre-contract with Lady Eleanor Butler, which was legally binding. He deposed his nephew, “Edward V” and assumed the Crown as Richard III.
Richard III takes Power
One of his early acts was to have Lord Rivers and Lord Grey, two of the leading Woodvilles, (brother and son respectively of Queen Elizabeth Woodville) arrested and sent to Pontefract Castle in Yorkshire where they were promptly beheaded. He placed both of Edward IV’s sons in the Tower. This sounds much grimmer than it actually was. The Tower of London was not primarily a prison; it was a Royal Palace with a wide range of buildings, apartments, gardens and a zoo.
It was to grimmer than Windsor Castle, for example, another Royal Palace set within the walls of a medieval castle on the Thames. Richard’s reasons were probably to prevent the two boys becoming a focus for a Lancastrian uprising. Much is often made of the fact that Richard III was steadfastly loyal to his brother Edward in his rise to the Crown, and yet was not loyal to Edward’s sons. Exactly. The boys were not of the House of York. They were not only illegitimate but they were Lancastrian to their bones, and if they gained power, that would be the end of the House of York, and Richard’s own inheritance.
The Princes Disappear
The disappearance of the two young sons of Edward IV has been the subject of speculation for centuries. Shakespeare’s version makes Richard III the prime mover in having them murdered. However, as we have seen, Richard regarded the boys as illegitimate, and consequently no threat to his claim to the Crown. He saw them merely as his brother’s children, and entitled to the demands of kinship.
No one knows exactly when the boys were murdered. Given that Henry Tudor (Henry VII) regarded the boys as legitimate, as he married their sister, Elizabeth, their continuing existence was more of a threat to his claim to the Crown, than it was to Richard III’s. It is perfectly possible that the two boys had survived in the Tower over the two years from the deposing of “Edward V” in 1483 to the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. Thus they would have been a problem for Henry Tudor if they were still alive when he took power.
The Stafford Dukes of Buckingham
There is one other figure in this sinister drama whose role is rarely examined, and that is Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham (21). He also had a claim to the Crown of England, through Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester, and fifth son of Edward III. His line, however, descends through two women, Eleanor and Anne, which would be seen by many as a disadvantage. During the military conflicts between Lancastrian and Yorkists, Henry Stafford’s father, grandfather, and great- grandfather were all killed in battle. The reality of the Stafford’s aim for the Crown is partly supported by their unusual heraldry, which deliberately breaks the usual rules. The Stafford red chevron comes from the father’s side and should be displayed in quarters 1 and 4, but it has been relegated to quarters 2 and 3, the mother’s side. The family is clearly claiming that the Royal Arms, (Fleurs de Lys and Lions) are their principal inheritance.
The Duke of Buckingham was a staunch Yorkist and a firm supporter of both Edward IV and Richard III. When Edward died and Richard took over, Buckingham could see that there was now only one person between himself and the Crown. Although the sons of Edward IV were still held in the Tower, they remained a permanent focus for a Lancastrian revolt. Buckingham no doubt accepted the legal position that the boys were illegitimate, but he would feel none of the ties of kinship, unlike Richard III who saw them as his brother’s children. The stewardship of the boys was as much in the hands of Buckingham as it was in those of Richard III. It is just as likely that Buckingham could have caused their death as Richard might have done.
The Shakespearean story, following Tudor propaganda, suggests that Buckingham was so repelled by Richard’s demand for the murder of the two boys that this caused the final break between the two men. Richard comments on Buckingham’s reluctance to commit himself about the proposed murder, “Tut, tut thou art all ice, thy kindness freezes.” He then goes on to say, “The deep, revolving, witty Buckingham no more shall be the neighbour to my counsel.”
Buckingham’s Remarkable Change of Character
It is interesting that Shakespeare, having clearly established Buckingham’s attitudes and style during the whole course of the play, then has him behave completely out of character at the end. Buckingham is the fixer, the smooth-tongued diplomat, the master with words. He is “princely Buckingham” the man who is so graceful at court, who enhances Edward IV’s clumsy attempts at peacemaking, who persuades the Mayor and London citizens of Richard’s cause, who persuades the Archbishop of Canterbury to break sanctuary for the Queen and Prince Richard, who glosses over indiscreet remarks to Richard made by Edward IV’s two children, and yet at the end words somehow fail him.
When Richard is seeking Buckingham’s approval, all his wittiness deserts him and he can only murmur clichés of evasion. To drive the point home, Shakespeare has Buckingham importuning Richard for “the Earldom of Hereford and all the moveables”, when the king is clearly busy, pre-occupied with other matters, and more in need of advice than begging. All Buckingham’s tact and diplomacy seem to have deserted him. Finally, in exasperation, Richard asks Buckingham,
“What is’t o’clock? (What is the time?)
“Upon the stroke of ten” (Nearly ten)
“Then let it strike, for like a Jack, thou keeps the strokes betwixt thy begging and my meditation.”
Again, Shakespeare uses the insulting word “Jack”, described earlier, as the mechanical figures, sub-human creatures, used on big clocks to strike the hours on a bell, with a hammer (23).
The outcome of Richard’s refusal to keep his promise to Buckingham over the Earldom of Hereford has to be immediate flight. Buckingham reflects, “And is it thus, repays me he my deep service with such contempt? Made I him King for this? O let me think on Hastings and begone to Brecknock while my fearful head is on.” (Lord Hastings was executed earlier on Richard’s orders. Brecknock, or Brecon in modern English, was part of Buckingham’s estates in Wales.)
The Subtlety of Shakespeare’s Writing
I suggested earlier that Shakespeare produces an image of Richard III which is so preposterous as to create doubts in the minds of any serious students of the play or of history. Was he really like this? Similarly, the surprising total change of character on the part of Buckingham makes one wonder, “Was this really how the break with Richard began? Could we have mis-judged Buckingham’s real character? Was he capable of independently arranging the murder of the two boys? “
Shakespeare was writing in Elizabethan times when England was virtually a police-state, with a whole apparatus of spies, informers, agents, summary arrest and execution. In dramatising the origins of the Tudor dynasty he could not afford to make any mistakes, or it might cost him his life. In case readers need more evidence of the political situation, and the playwright’s skilful subtlety in conveying hidden ideas, they are recommended to Clare Asquith’s book (24) (See References I) which is subtitled, “The hidden beliefs and coded politics of William Shakespeare.”
THE END OF RICHARD III AND THE HOUSE OF YORK
As support for Richard ebbed away and Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond arrived on the Welsh coast at Milford Haven it was clear that one final battle in 1485 would decide everything. Richard was thirty-one and had been a soldier all of his adult life. As the Table of the House of York shows (9), his father had been killed in battle as had his other relatives, so he was well aware of the realities.
Bosworth Field, Leicestershire
The battlefield was at Market Bosworth, a village 11 miles (17 Km) from the city of Leicester in the East Midlands. It is pleasant, gently rolling country (25) and the main changes occurring from 1485 are the hedges, fences and metalled roads. There is still some dispute as to the precise location of parts of the battlefield, but Bosworth has an excellent Visitor Centre, and is one of the best presented English battle sites.
In Olivier’s film “Richard III” the battle scenes were shot on location, somewhere in Spain, where there was guaranteed sunshine and a site without hedges. The grass was dusty and yellow, there was a wide flat plain, and in the distance, several miles away, there was a line of high blue hills.
Arms and Armour
All the senior commanders and their knights fought in full plate armour (26) in the late 1400s. They were largely impregnable against sword cuts and arrows, but the armour was so heavy that it hampered movement. Much of the fighting was done on foot, and the most deadly weapon was the pole-axe. It was a short wood or steel shaft with an axe-head on one side and a heavy spike on the other. A powerful blow with this could dent, if not penetrate plate armour and seriously disable the wearer.
Our ancestors did not fight in a battle, by a series of individual combats, as is inevitably portrayed in films. Important leaders were protected by their bodyguards, and lesser individuals fought as small teams. It was difficult for a man in full armour to see what was happening behind him, so part of the team was there to protect his back.
In addition, knights had groups of their own men-at-arms, who were professional soldiers but from the lower social orders. They were much more lightly armed, with a steel helmet, breastplate and backplate. This meant they were much more mobile, and active, being able to quickly see all around. They were normally armed with a sword and dagger, and a mace, or axe. Part of their business was to protect their lord, not by taking on mailed knights, but by working on the fringes. If a man in plate armour was downed or fell over, he was very vulnerable, so that a man-at-arms could finish him with a blow to the head with a mace or axe.
The principal actors in the film of “Richard III” wore simulation armour, made either of a light aluminium alloy or of moulded plastic with a metallic appearance (27). The three men are shown with their helms off just before the battle begins. We can identify the precise part of the play, because the message on the paper, Richard is reading, runs, “Jockey of Norfolk, be not so bold, for Dickon, thy master, is bought and sold.”
Though the message is perfectly clear to modern audiences it is an interesting illustration of how nicknames change over the centuries. “Jockey of Norfolk” is John Howard, Duke of Norfolk, and Earl Marshal of England. Jockey or Jock, were common medieval nicknames for John, whereas the modern version is Jack. Similarly, Dickon, the medieval nickname for Richard, is no longer used, being replaced by the modern Dick. This short piece of doggerel has some historical validity as it was mentioned by the chronicler, Ralph Holinshed, on whose works Shakespeare based much of his history plays.
Lord Stanley Changes Sides
One of the key players in the battle was Thomas, Lord Stanley, played in the film by Laurence Naismith, as “Everybody’s Favourite Uncle”. The real Lord Stanley was a much less attractive figure, a byword for shifty and unreliable behaviour. His change of sides was probably vital in bringing about the final defeat of Richard’s forces. Richard held George Stanley, son of Thomas, as a hostage for his father’s loyal behaviour. When Stanley refuses to join the royal forces, Richard orders the execution of his hostage, but the Duke of Norfolk has to warn him.
“My Lord, the enemy is past the Marsh; After the battle let George Stanley die.”
This refers to the fact that in medieval times, part of the battlefield was a marsh, and a serious obstacle for heavily armoured or mounted men, and it affected how the forces deployed during the battle. Over the last 500 years the progress of land drainage generally has led to this particular marsh drying up, so that today it is represented only by a small spring of water (28).
The Death of Richard III
David Smurthwaite (See References F) gives an excellent, balanced account of the battle, and concludes, “It will never be known precisely where or by whose hand Richard III met his death. Sixteenth-century chroniclers, and of course Shakespeare, insist that Richard rode out from his lines seeking to strike down Henry in personal combat. It seems improbable that he would have been able to pinpoint Henry amidst the dust and confusion of battle, let alone fight his way through to him, and a more acceptable explanation is that Richard was unhorsed and killed while leading an attack upon the forces of the treacherous Stanleys. With his death there was little left for his soldiers to fight for and many quickly laid down their arms and surrendered. The royal troops were now at their most vulnerable and although the pursuit of those who took flight was not prolonged, Richard’s men sustained approximately 1000 casualties to Henry’s 200.”
The film shows the dying Richard III twisting and jerking spasmodically in death before he is stabbed by a ring of soldiers. All very dramatic, but most men die in battle, slumped on their back, or face down like a sack of potatoes. When the camera replaced artists’ impressions in the mid-nineteenth century the general public began to realise that men do not die in battle in heroic poses.
Finding the Crown
There is a tradition that “Richard’s crown which he had worn on his helmet during the battle was found hanging from the branches of a hawthorn bush. Retrieved by a soldier, it was placed on Henry Tudor’s head. This is commemorated in the stained glass windows of the Henry VII Chapel in Westminster Abbey, where the crown can be seen on a hawthorn bush surmounted by a Tudor rose.” (Smurthwaite, op. cit.) This incident was omitted from Shakespeare’s play, but the film included it. Henry VII adopted the Crowned Hawthorn (29) as a badge, to be worn by his servants.
Memorials to Richard III
There is a small battlefield memorial to Richard III, consisting of a piece of rough stone with a plaque, set in a circle of flat stones (30). The reputation of the King has suffered from the Shakespearean calumny for so many centuries that most of his memorials are of very recent date. When the Leicester Cathedral re-interment takes place in 2015, it may become, perhaps, the King’s principal memorial. At the moment, a school is named after the King, in the City of Leicester, affectionately known as “King Dick’s”.
Having described Grafton Regis as a rather obscure Northamptonshire village with Yorkist connections, there is another one in Fotheringhay, in the north of the county, about nine miles (14 Km) west of the city of Peterborough. The village’s principal claim to fame is the fact that Mary, Queen of Scots, was imprisoned in Fotheringhay Castle, and finally executed there in 1586 on the orders of Queen Elizabeth I. The castle was also the birthplace of Richard III, but the building has almost completely disappeared and only a small remnant of dressed stone remains. It is the magnificent parish church of St Mary’s (31) which now constitutes the principal Yorkist shrine, with a side chapel which was dedicated to Richard III in 1982.
Simon Jenkins, (See References J) writes lyrically, “On a warm summer’s day, Fotheringhay is a magic place. The church (31) seems to float on its hill above the River Nene, a galleon of Perpendicular on a sea of corn. The octagonal tower piles into the sky on its square base, dominating a structure that seems entirely of glass. The aisle windows of Fotheringhay have tracery of the most refined delicacy.”
“The small sanctuary has two Renaissance monuments which commemorate the two Dukes of York, Edward, the 2nd Duke and founder who fell at Agincourt in 1415, and Richard the 3rd Duke, killed at Wakefield in 1459. The pulpit (32) is a superb work supposedly donated by Edward IV. Its rib-vaulted tester and red, green and gold panels display the polychromy of a late-medieval church. Fotheringhay has recently become a Yorkist shrine, especially to the much-abused Richard III. A chapel was dedicated to his memory in 1982 and a York window (33) commissioned, incorporating his heraldic glass.”
THE ARRIVAL OF THE TUDORS
The defeat and death of Richard III was a disaster for England because it ushered in the Tudor dynasty, and the most repressive regime in our history. One reason was because, as mentioned earlier, the Tudor claim to the Crown was based on very weak grounds. The inheritance claims of the Lancastrians and Yorkists, as illustrated in lines (8, 9) were models of clarity by comparison with the Tudor Line (34).
The Tudor Claim
Put very simply, Henry VII on his father’s side had a grandfather, Owen Tudor, who had married Catherine, the widow of Henry V. Inheritance does not come through widows, but it may come through an heiress, but Catherine of France was not an heiress. Claiming the Crown on these grounds is like being asked, “Did you see the opera, ‘Carmen’ at Covent Garden last night?” and replying, “Yes I did; well actually I was only in the street outside.”
On his mother’s side, Henry VII was descended from John Beaufort, an illegitimate son of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster. It is true that John Beaufort was legitimised at the age of 25, when John of Gaunt finally married his long-term mistress Catherine Swynford, John’s mother. John of Gaunt’s legitimate son, Henry IV recognised the Beaufort clan as legitimate, but specifically declared them ineligible to inherit the Crown, a point conveniently overlooked by the Tudors in their claim.
As further cement to Henry Tudor’s claim the throne, he married Elizabeth of York, eldest daughter of King Edward IV. However, if the marriage of her parents was invalid, then she too was illegitimate, and had no rights of succession, any more than her two younger brothers, “the Princes in the Tower”.
Each of the Tudor monarchs gradually tightened the screws on their unfortunate subjects and moved closer to the police state which existed in Elizabethan times. As one illustration of the political situation of Tudor times, here are some facts on the concept of treason.
In the past (Edward III’s Law from 1352), treason had meant attempting to kill the King or making an armed rebellion against the Crown. In the time of Henry VII, the first Tudor, it became treason to merely speak out against the King; no actions were necessary. His son, Henry VIII, refined the idea of treason even further, when Thomas More was executed for remaining silent on the issue of the King’s marriage to Anne Boleyn. The Court claimed that “Silence was a proof of malice.” (Dwyer, See References H)
Under Elizabeth I the concept of high treason was extended even further. To change religion from Protestant to Catholic, to be a Catholic priest, or to shelter a priest were not just simple crimes, but high treason, punishable by death (Dwyer, op. cit.). After the death of Elizabeth I in 1603, it took England another 230 years to row back from the police state created by the Tudor monarchs.
The First NHS?
The medieval monasteries (35) provided an important service for their local communities and for England as a whole. They ran hospitals for the sick, care homes for the elderly, or impoverished, and hospitality for travellers. They were, in effect, the first National Health Service in Britain. As the monks and nuns who provided these services were unpaid, and worked as a religious duty, the system was very economic to run.
It was the Tudors, under Henry VIII, who destroyed the monasteries in the process called by the neutral term, “the Dissolution”. His motive was greed for money, and he held, what we would now call “a fire sale” of the monastic lands and buildings, and consequently the Crown received only a fraction of the value of the properties. The poor, elderly and sick were turned on to the streets to beg, starve or die.
The Greyfriars Monastery in Leicester was sold along with the rest, and allowed to fall into ruin. The graveyard of the monastic church where the body of Richard III lay also fell into neglect. It was not true that Richard’s body was “thrown into a shallow grave”; this is a piece of later journalism. The monks were given charge of the dead body, and one of the “corporal works of mercy” for any lay Catholic Christian, let alone a professional religious, was the burial of the dead, so we may well expect that a Requiem Mass was said for the repose of the soul of King Richard.
All the current talk of “laying him to rest” or “giving him a decent burial” is simply a gloss. He had already been given these things. It was the greed, duplicity, and wickedness of the Tudors that caused Richard’s mortal remains to come, eventually to rest underneath a car park in Leicester.
TWENTIETH CENTURY ANALYSIS OF RICHARD III
The strength of the evidence against Richard III was tested in a filmed mock trial, made in 1984 as a TV production, and released later in 2006 as a DVD. Lord Elwyn Jones, a former Lord Chancellor, and a real High Court Judge presided, and there were real barristers leading the cases for the prosecution, (Mr Russell and Mr Godfrey) and the defence (Mr Dillon, and Mr Lott). The case was whether the historical evidence indicated the guilt or innocence of Richard III in the murder of his two nephews, the boy princes, Edward and Richard, familiarly called, “The Princes in the Tower” on or about August 1483. The evidence was put before a jury of six men and six women
The prosecution set out five main contentions. (i) The two boys were killed about August 1483, (ii) Richard had the motive for killing them, (iii) he had ruthlessly killed others on his way to the throne, (iv) the boys could not have been killed without his knowledge, and in the speculation about their whereabouts, he remained silent about the entire matter, blaming no one else, and (v) he was believed, contemporaneously to have been responsible for the murder.
Expert historians and archivists were called as witnesses on both sides and cross-examined by Counsel. The most well-known of these was a younger David Starkey with luxuriant moustaches, and as obnoxious as ever, in his rudeness to the judge and to counsel. He was a prosecution witness, and dismissed the “pre-contract” as something which emerged “at the last moment” and therefore likely to be spurious. Neither of the lawyers alluded to the mysterious, “hole-in-the-corner” marriage of the King of England, in a small private chapel in Northamptonshire. This rather backs up the likelihood that the “pre-contract” was genuine, and that King Edward could not risk a public marriage. A jury of twelve, six men and six women found Richard not guilty.
REFERENCES AND ILLUSTRATIONS
The opinions expressed in this essay are my own, but the details of times, dates, places and numbers were checked in several reference works.
A. “An Introduction to English History”, Volume I, by G W Southgate, Dent, 1950
B. “Richard III” by Charles Ross, Eyre Methuen, 1981
C. “Richard III”, “The Penguin Shakespeare” edited by G B Harrison, Penguin, 1953
D. “Shakespeare’s Heraldry”, by C W Scott-Giles, Dent, 1950
E. “The Queen’s Lineage” by G S P Freeman-Grenville, Collings, 1977
F. “Battlefields of Britain” by David Smurthwaite, Michael Joseph, 1984
G. “Northamptonshire – A Portrait in Pen and Ink” by Clive Holmes, History Press, 2010
H. “The Tower of London” by J. J. Dwyer, CTS,
I. “Shadowplay” by Clare Asquith, PublicAffairs, 2005
J. “England’s Thousand Best Churches”, by Simon Jenkins, Allen Lane, Penguin, 1999
I. “The Dissolution of the Monasteries” by G W O Woodward, Pitkin, 1975
1. Skull of Richard III (Google image)
2. Contemporary portrait of King Richard III (Ross, op.cit)
3. Reconstruction of Richard III from his skeletal remains (Google image)
4. Henry VII at the age of 48 in 1505
5. The Sons of Edward III (Author)
6. The Line of Edward, the Black Prince (Author)
7. The Line of Lionel, Duke of Clarence (Author)
8. The Line of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster (Author)
9. The Line of Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York (Author)
10. The Medieval Cross on the Battlefield of Towton Moor (Author)
11. Elizabeth Woodville Queen of Edward IV (Google image)
12. “The White Hart” Inn, Grafton Regis, Northants (Holmes, op.cit)
13. Grafton in the Midlands (Author)
14. The village of Grafton Regis, Northamptonshire (Author)
15. Sir Laurence Olivier in the part of Richard III (film still)
16. The White Rose on a Sun in Splendour from the Yorkist battle Standard (Scott-Giles, op.cit)
17. Cedric Hardwicke as Edward IV, hearing of Clarence’s treason from Richard (film still)
18. Richard woos Lady Anne (Claire Bloom) (film still)
19. Douglas Wilmer in the part of Thomas Grey, Lord Dorset (film still)
20. Helen Kerridge in the part of Queen Elizabeth, wife of Edward IV (film still)
21. King Richard III and the Duke of Buckingham (Sir Laurence Olivier and Sir Ralph Richardson) (film still)
22. The Line of the Stafford Dukes of Buckingham (Author)
23. “The Moors” clock-jacks on the Clock-tower of St Mark’s Square, Venice. (“Venice, Queen of the Sea”, Edizioni Storti, 1986)
24. Book cover of hidden Shakespeare (Asquith, op.cit)
25. Bosworth Field as it appears today (Author)
26. Richard and his Standard-Bearer in Plate Armour (Postcard from the Bosworth Visitor Centre)
27. Before the battle, Norfolk (John Phillips) shows Richard III (Laurence Olivier) a message, while Sir William Catesby (Norman Wooland) looks on (film still)
28. King Richard’s Spring on Bosworth Field (Author)
29. Henry VII’s Hawthorn Badge (Author, colour version from Scott-Giles op.cit)
30. The Memorial to Richard III on the Battlefield of Bosworth (Author)
31. The Church of St Mary’s, Fotheringhay (Jenkins, op.cit)
32. The pulpit at Fotheringhay (Author)
33. The York window at St Mary’s Church, Fotheringhay, Northants (Author)
34. The Line of the Tudors (Author)
35. The ruins of Whitby Abbey, Yorkshire (Woodward, op.cit)