Did Richard III Really Say That?


My morning ritual involves making a pot of coffee: I can’t function without it! Normally, I don’t connect Richard III with the process of brewing a pot of Joe, but today, I happened to reach for a coffee mug that I’d received as a gift upon graduating from law school in 1993. I laughed to myself, because it was emblazoned with the quote “Kill all the lawyers” and it attributed that statement to King Richard. My friends obviously had a wicked sense of humor in giving me the mug, but they didn’t know it was doubly relevant to me, both as a lawyer and a history buff with a fascination for that monarch.

Richard III mug Did Richard III hate lawyers?

Twenty years later, I was attending a continuing legal education course on advanced trial techniques, and – much to my surprise – the lecturer brought up the “Kill all the lawyers” quote.  …

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    1. I think I prefer Cade’s exhortation that “there shall be no money”. A lot less messy than killing, and doesn’t require gas chambers or firing squads. But, thanks, you gave me a good chuckle!


  1. Sounds like a joke to me. Richard III leaned highly towards fair judicial practices so I can’t imagine him thinking that but someone might think it about Richard if they thought he killed the princes and didn’t want anyone to find out about it.


    1. Agree, Sarah. I was also wondering if there were people who might have confused the quote from the character of “Dick the butcher” from Henry VI Part Two, and just presumed it must refer to Richard III.


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