Today could not go by with out a swift post about the v exciting confirmation that bones found in a Leicestershire council car park are that of the last York and Plantagenet King Richard III.
Those of you who are regular readers of this blog or follow me on twitter know I am strongly in Camp Richard in that I believe that he has an unfair legacy which wasn’t helped by Shakespeare’s depiction in his infamous Historic play.
My favourite depiction of him in fiction is in Philippa Gregory’s White Queen.
Of course now DNA has proved that the bones are him the next question is will there be a state funeral?
He was after all a king (granted it wasn’t very long) and many before and after him have ruled more tyrannically than he did, one that springs to mind is Henry VIII.
He was the last king to die on the battlefield this in itself should be worth a funeral with honours. He lead his men into battle and fought with them he lost and this is even more remarkable when you know that the skeleton found had a bent spine – one fact William Shakespeare didn’t get wrong!
Richard was also the last king of the house of York & ruling Plantagenet’s. He did have 2 illegitimate children and it is through their lines that we get the but it was not through them that DNA was used to confirm this remarkable and historic find but through his mother female heirs.Unfortunately royal mistresses didn’t help solve this mystry! However Richard’s illegitimate children were John of Gloucester and Katherine who married the 2nd earl of Pembroke.
The legitimate issue by Anne of Warwick, the king makers daughter and Richard III was Edward who died when he was 9 years old, just after he had been invested as the Prince of Wales.
An interesting fact about Richard III is he was born at Fotheringay castle, which would later be the last prison and place of execution for Mary Queen of Scots.
He was 32 years old when he died, I will be that old later on this year and he achieved so much more than I have thus far!
There is a claim that Richards claim to the throne was weak well let me counter that with this – the Tudor through Henry VII, claim was also weak connection to Lancashire and only made stronger by the marrying Elizabeth York bring both York and Lancashire together and ending the bitter War of the Rose’s.
The war of the roses was a civil war between the nobility of England and during such times, all sides plot, scheme and elect figure heads for their causes usually the person chosen gets that position through who he or she was born to. Families turn on each other, fathers turn on sons, brother on brother; in fact Richards brother Edward V executed his middle sibling George (for treason) by drowning in a vat of his favourite tipple.
I of course do not deny that the 2 Princes in the Tower disappeared and unfortunately probably met an unpleasant and untimely end; however I do not feel that Richard III ordered the death of 2 children too young so that he could rule. He would have been a regent for the eldest son, king in all but name, as we have seen from his own son, infant and child mortality was poor so and Richard could have tutored and manipulated those boys so he virtually ruled even when they were of age to rule if they survived.
That may not be the most coherent of arguments but that is my view and what it lacks in finesse it makes up with passion. There for I for one hope that Richard will finally be laid to rest with all the honours that a king of England deserve and I hope to be there to witness it!