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Richard III-Those Princes & Lord Hastings

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rebecca
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Richard III-Those Princes & Lord Hastings

Postby rebecca » Mon March 11th, 2013, 2:31 am

The life of King Richard III has always interested me and now with the recent discovery of his grave in a car park (of all places!)It had me wondering yet again about the mysteries in his life.

I have not read too much about him except for novels written by Sharon Kay Penman, Josephine Tey, Philippa Gregory and Anne Easter Smith.

So I was wondering for those authors who have made a study of this King and his life what are your thoughts or theories on this particular King and the unsolved mysteries during his reign.

Did King Richard III murder his nephews (The Princes in the Tower)?

My thoughts: No. Richard had already disinherited his nephews and seized the throne. There is also his reputation in his absolute loyalty to his brother King Edward IV. It was also a politically stupid move which not even his allies could accept, so why would Richard do such an evil deed? It doesn't make sense to me.

If not who do you think did it?

My Thoughts: The one person who profited from the death of the boy Princes was Henry VII and his mother of course.

Why did King Richard have William, Lord Hastings murdered?

My thoughts: I have no idea (the book on this topic is on my TBR list). I would love to know why?

In your opinion did King Richard have an 'affair' with his niece Elizabeth of York?


My thoughts: No. By the books I have read he seemed broken hearted at the death of his wife...I do wonder if Elizabeth had a 'crush' on him.

Was the marriage between Anne Neville and Richard a love match?

My Thoughts: I think it was both a business arrangement which turned into love, but I do wonder why they had only one child?

Does King Richard III deserve his evil reputation or is he one of histories most maligned Kings?


My Thoughts: No he does not, but he was in charge of his nephews therefore he bears some responsibility in not taking more care of their safety.

I look forward to reading your theories on the mysterious Richard III.

Bec :)

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boswellbaxter
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Postby boswellbaxter » Mon March 11th, 2013, 12:44 pm

Richard had every reason to murder the princes despite their supposed illegitimacy; within just weeks of his coronation, there was a plot to free them from the Tower. The eldest boy was 12; in just a few years, he would potentially be able to lead an army to recover his throne. The boys' father, remember, had won the battle of Towton when he was not 19. The "illegitimacy" of the princes didn't stop Perkin Warbeck from attempting to claim the throne as Richard, Duke of York in Henry VII's reign, nor did it stop Richard III's sister from supporting Perkin.

I would guess that he acted in a moment of impulse by giving the order to murder his nephews. He certainly never produced them alive during his reign.

The novels you've read are all by Ricardian authors; some nonfiction by authors by A. J. Pollard, Charles Ross, and Rosemary Horrox would give a more balanced picture.
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Divia
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Postby Divia » Mon March 11th, 2013, 11:51 pm

While I'm not as well versed on my European history as others here, I agree with boswellbaxter. He had every reason to want them dead and no reason to keep them alive. They would always be a thorn in his side while they still lived. If they didn't raise an army they could be used as a rallying point for someone else to "save" them and put them on the throne.

Rulers are ruthless and they will do whatever they want to keep power. So while we are sickened by what he did, it was practical. Better get them before they get you type of mentality. Can't say I disagree or if I was in the same boat i would react any differently.
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rebecca
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Postby rebecca » Tue March 12th, 2013, 1:13 am

"Richard had every reason to murder the princes despite their supposed illegitimacy; within just weeks of his coronation, there was a plot to free them from the Tower. The eldest boy was 12; in just a few years, he would potentially be able to lead an army to recover his throne..."


It was definately a very cut throat era and I am sure there were just as many plots against Richard III. But what stands out to me was Richard's loyalty to his brother Edward IV and I find it hard to believe that upon his brothers death he had a sudden personality change and killed his nephews. It is such a heinous crime that it surely would have alienated even his supporters. It was a politically stupid move and I have never thought Richard stupid. As for the boys growing up it would have made more sense for Richard to take them on once they were responsible for themselves. I have never thought Richard a coward either. The one thing that is clear is that unlike his brother Edward, Richard was no tactician when it came to battles, although he was a brave and good soldier, and though he charged at Henry Tudor, it seemed Henry was smart enough to stay safe surrounded by his soldiers.

It is a mystery that I would love someone to solve. I am also going to note down those authors you mentioned, because I do like a balanced view on history.


"I agree with boswellbaxter. He had every reason to want them dead and no reason to keep them alive. They would always be a thorn in his side while they still lived..."

I agree with you to a certain point, but alive or dead those two boys were always a thorn in Richard's side. I am also sure that Margaret Beaufort and her son knew that too. Would Henry VII have stayed on the throne if the Princes had remained alive and well? Who knows, but I doubt it.

It seems those two boys were doomed from the start.

Bec :)

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LoveHistory
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Postby LoveHistory » Thu March 14th, 2013, 4:02 pm

They could have died of some illness and the bodies been hidden to avoid accusations of murder.

Sure he could have had them killed, but so could countless others with something to gain. One very big motive even for someone who wasn't in line to inherit the throne would simply be to discredit Richard, or Henry, by framing them for it.

It's also possible that some "helpful" lackey did it to try to curry favor, thinking that Richard wanted them gone but wasn't able to directly order it because of how bad it would look.

I'm beginning to think there isn't any such think as a balanced view of history. Authors of non-fiction books have ideas about what was or wasn't true the same as novelists do. And it's very difficult to keep your own beliefs on a subject such as the murder of children from seeping into your work no matter how scholarly or obejctive you are.

I'm inclined to believe Richard is innocent simply because there isn't enough proof of his guilt for me to do otherwise. There is plenty of conjecture on both sides of the argument but very little in the way of evidence. Innocent until proven guilty works for me. Besides, it's not like I'm going to run into him on the street some time.

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DianeL
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Postby DianeL » Fri March 15th, 2013, 12:02 am

"LoveHistory" wrote:I'm beginning to think there isn't any such think as a balanced view of history.


This. 100% agreed, LH.

"LoveHistory" wrote:I'm inclined to believe Richard is innocent simply because there isn't enough proof of his guilt for me to do otherwise. There is plenty of conjecture on both sides of the argument but very little in the way of evidence. Innocent until proven guilty works for me. Besides, it's not like I'm going to run into him on the street some time.


And this. It's a bit like the Katharine of Aragon virginity question; these things become puzzles for strangers to work on the souls of others. After a certain point, sometimes the passion of partisanship on unknowable things can become uncomfortable.
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rebecca
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Postby rebecca » Fri March 15th, 2013, 1:28 am

"They could have died of some illness and the bodies been hidden to avoid accusations of murder.....It's also possible that some "helpful" lackey did it to try to curry favor..."

LH you make some very good points, it leaves much to ponder on. When it comes to Richard III- it's a case of damned if he did and damned if he didn't...either way he can't win.

I also agree about historical biographies; you only have to read a few on the ever controversial Anne Boleyn to find that out. Many authors show their bias and she becomes sinner or saint depending on the author.

"It's a bit like the Katharine of Aragon virginity question;"

As to this question, the truth of it died with Queen Katherine-So in the end when authors write about this particular matter it is always speculation. There is no proof. It is the same with Richard III-no proof.

Becca :)

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Postby MLE (Emily Cotton) » Fri March 15th, 2013, 4:21 am

"DianeL" wrote:This. 100% agreed, LH.

And this. It's a bit like the Katharine of Aragon virginity question; these things become puzzles for strangers to work on the souls of others. After a certain point, sometimes the passion of partisanship on unknowable things can become uncomfortable.


Well said.

Although I sometimes think that Richard might have had the survival of his own wife and child in mind when he considered the danger the boys posed to his family. Like Mary Queen of Scots or poor inept Henry VI, another claimant to the throne provides a focal point for the enemies of the current holder to rally around. After which that king's own family get offed.

Whether he did or didn't have anything to do with his nephew's deaths, I'm of the theory that after Anne and his son died, Richard was so depressed that he didn't much care if he lived or died.

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Postby DianeL » Fri March 15th, 2013, 6:43 pm

MLE, thank you.

I believe you're right about the losses he'd suffered. Penman's characterization of his ability to move on in the throes of loss, though of course fiction, seemed to me a well-realized reflection of the way a person of remarkable strength and talent can still suffer complete desolation while functioning in their role *almost* beyond caring about it.

I'll admit to being a Ricardian in the sense I tend to imagine he didn't do it. However, I also try to temper my opinions about most such things with the understanding of their complete irrelevance. :)
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The pre-modern world was willing to attribute charisma to women well before it was willing to attribute sustained rationality to them.

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rebecca
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Postby rebecca » Sat March 16th, 2013, 2:44 am

"DianeL" wrote:MLE, thank you.

I believe you're right about the losses he'd suffered. Penman's characterization of his ability to move on in the throes of loss, though of course fiction, seemed to me a well-realized reflection of the way a person of remarkable strength and talent can still suffer complete desolation while functioning in their role *almost* beyond caring about it.

I'll admit to being a Ricardian in the sense I tend to imagine he didn't do it. However, I also try to temper my opinions about most such things with the understanding of their complete irrelevance. :)


I don't know if I am a Ricardian, but I wont condemn a person when these is no evidence to his actual killing of the two boys. But he does bear some responsibility in that they died under his protection...Which makes me speculate that if he didn't murder them, then it was done by someone of high standing who could enter the Tower without being challenged and who was in a trusted position.....But whatever the case Richard III could not win and perhaps he knew it and I also loved SKP's version of Richard III. And yes, without his own wife and son by his side and not being able to trust anyone...It would be an incredibly lonely life. But he died fighting while Henry Tudor stayed safe.

Bec :) PS: I think you can guess I don't like Henry VII or his 'pious' mother.


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