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Guilty!…until proven innocent, which ain’t gonna happen….

Coat_of_Arms_of_Richard_III,_King_of_England

What a very strange state of affairs it is, when the king who made certain that people were innocent until proven guilty, is himself always presumed guilty with scant chance of ever being proved innocent.

But this is the case with Richard III, whose one and only Parliament advanced and improved the lot of the ordinary man to a degree that many of his statutes are still adhered to now. These statutes were even published in English, allowing the ordinary public to read or have it read to them, and understand. Richard was determined to help and protect his subjects.

Yet he is guilty until proven innocent. Who says? Well, rather blinkered historians with an axe to grind, that’s who. Close your eyes and picture them. Spot on. They are the sort of people who will say black is white, no matter what. If someone is admirable, they’ll make damned sure he isn’t for long. The sort of people who will cast endless doubt upon the truth, simply to further their own careers. To these people, More and Shakespeare are absolutely reliable for FACTS. Hmm. So, Richard had a withered arm, even though his skeleton proves he didn’t. Richard had kyphosis, they say, even though he had scoliosis. We’re right, they squeal! Especially when they’re on TV promoting their latest load of preposterousness.

Incredible as it seems to us now, back in the 15th century people could buy land, only to find it had already been sold elsewhere, or that it didn’t belong to the seller in the first place. Caveat emptor was the order of the day, and the guilty could get away with it. Richard stopped that little scam. He insisted on fairness, because that was his nature. Why else was he loved so much in the north, where he ruled for many years at the order of his brother the king? If he was a toad, they’d have been glad to see the back of him. They weren’t any such thing, instead they grieved when he was killed.

As attested to by the barrister Juliet Donovan during Channel Four’s “procession highlights” show (about 2:10:30 in), he introduced bail, saw that juries were more wisely selected, prevented the system of ‘benevolences’, and many other things. All in one Parliament. Just how far might he have gone if he had reigned for longer? He could well have transformed England, and died in his bed, a venerated king.

Instead, courtesy of these particular historians, we are still presented with Richard the Monstrous Uncle, who pinched his nephew’s throne, forced Anne Neville into marriage, bullied old women and murdered his enemies, all starting at the age of 2, or thereabouts, according to the Bard. Who is always right. Believe it. What a precocious little lad Richard was, and all while being so physically deformed and hideous that he was clearly the Devil’s spawn. The lawmaker was the twisted Law-mauler Supreme.

Well, that is if you read these Mouth Almighties, who clearly do not pay any attention to facts. Why? Because it doesn’t suit them. They don’t want to know that the real Richard was a good, brave man, who had kingship forced upon him by his elder brother’s bigamy. They want to believe More and Shakespeare. Or pretend they do, at least. And so now, even when it’s becoming clearer by the day that they are wrong, they deny it. The earth is flat where they live! The rest of us have long since known it is round.

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3 thoughts on “Guilty!…until proven innocent, which ain’t gonna happen….

  1. Actually Richard didn’t introduce bail as such. What he did do was make it obligatory to give a person the chance to get out on bail as soon as the person was imprisoned. Before that, as far as I understand, a bail hearing could only be done after a formal accusation against someone was filed, which meant, there being no time constraints for doing the latter, people could remain incarcerated for a long time without access to a judicial hearing about their imprisonment. And Richard made it illegal, too, to confiscate someone’s property ahead of conviction, which before often resulted in the property not being returned even if the former owner was acquitted. Both concepts are still very much alive in today’s laws.

    Liked by 3 people

    • viscountessw on said:

      I stand corrected, Julia, but even so, he was still responsible for some excellent improvements in the bail situation. I just wish he’d had to chance to prove how much more good he could have done. The course of history would have been very different. But those pesky historians would have found some other victim to unfairly tear to shreds, of course. It’s the nature of the beast.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. mairemartello on said:

    And just today in some rag, thanks to an “historian,” the idea that Richard had a allergic reaction to Morton’s strawberries has taken off into the stratosphere. More eye roll!

    Liked by 1 person

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