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Archive for the month “Aug, 2016”

Richard the FUTILE warrior? I think not….!

Stapleton, Leics

Well, I don’t know that all the facts are correct in this article. For instance, Richard’s effort (i.e. his going into battle at all against HT) was ‘futile’??? Sorry, but Richard went into that battle quite rightly certain he would triumph.

And he went into battle in a raging temper because he knew the Stanleys were doing the dirty on him? Hmm. He may have been justifiably suspicious of them, but he didn’t find out how faithless and slippery they really were until well after the battle had commenced. Only then did he realize victory wasn’t certain after all, and that’s when his fury erupted! He fought like a demon and got within a hair’s breadth of Henry Tudor, who never entered the fray, but lurked timidly behind his bodyguards. That was Tudor’s policy on a battlefield—never endanger one’s precious self by mixing it with all those nasty knights.

And, sadly, Tudor was the one who died in his bed. But Richard is the one who died in glory, admired by all, even his enemies, for the courage, ferocity and skill of his fighting. No one could ever look at Tudor and say, “Wow! Now there’s a great knight!” Everyone thought it of King Richard III.

But the article is interesting for all that.

http://www.hinckleytimes.net/news/local-news/past-times-history-stapleton-11728828

 

Henry III: Son of Magna Carta

Matt Lewis’s biography of Henry III will be released on 15th October 2016, in time to celebrate the 800th anniversary of his coronation.


The book will seek to understand the real impact of this oft-forgotten king and his long rule and examine why he is so forgotten by history.

The editing is just completed and here is a page to whet your appetite for the book, detailing Geoffrey de Neville’s problems trying to bring order to Gascony.

The Friaries and Priories of Ipswich

wolseys-gate-1

On the bottom left is the Buttermarket Centre, formerly the home of the Whitefriars or Carmelites. There were Greyfriars (Franciscans, whose name survives near Princes Street) and Blackfriars (Dominicans, based near St. Mary’s Quay).

The mid-“Tudor” Christchurch Mansion, on the bottom right, is on the site of the Holy Trinity Priory. Whether this was newly built or merely adapted, is presently uncertain. There was also a Priory of St. Peter and St. Paul, partially replaced by Wolsey’s Gate (above).

ButtermarketCentre Christchurch_Mansion

Richard is at Sudeley again soon….

Richard's at Sudeley soon

A weekend of Richard-themed festivities will soon be taking place at Sudeley again, from Saturday, August 20 to Sunday, August 21.

http://tinyurl.com/je35gag

Walton’s Prelude to Richard III in included in Prom 44 tomorrow!

Walton's Richard III

Walton’s Prelude to Richard III is to have an airing.

BBC Proms presents

Prom 44: Shakespeare on stage and screen

Thursday 18 August 2016
Doors: 6:45pm

“The Proms continue all this week. The memorably named Prom 44 (Thursday, 7.30pm, Radio 3) features the BBC Concert Orchestra, conducted by Keith Lockhart, performing music from stage and screen inspired by Shakespeare’s plays, ranging from Kiss Me Kate and West Side Story to Walton’s Prelude to Richard III. The first half is British, there’s a chat with actor Michael Pennington in the interval and then the second half is Broadway all the way.”

To replay the performance:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/events/echmbp#b07p12hh

Three howlers in the only sentence that mentions Richard….!

Henrietta Leyser

More groaning from Yours Truly, I fear. At the weekend I was taken to see Berry Pomeroy Castle in Devon. It was very beautiful, and my complaint is not to do with the castle, but with a book I bought in the gift shop.

It’s called Medieval Women, is by Henrietta Leyser, and has mixed reviews, although I had not heard of it before buying it. See it at:- https://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews/B00D3J2QE8/ref=acr_dpproductdetail_text?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

Being Richard’s strong supporter, I went straight to the index to find him. (Don’t we all?) One reference came up, on page 174. Here it is:-

“Margaret and Henry (My input: Yes, that Margaret and Henry) emerged from the Wars of the Roses in triumph but it could well have been otherwise. Widows who took their sons’ part in any kind of intrigue ran the risk of ending up destitute and in prison, a fate which Margaret had brought on herself for the part she had played in the conspiracy against Richard III in 1483.”

What howlers!!! She wasn’t a widow (unfortunately, because that blessed state would have meant Thomas, Lord Stanley had carked it—wishfully in a double ‘tragedy’ with his brother William) nor was she destitute or in prison. She had plotted against Richard, but her only punishment was to be placed in her husband’s care and not actually lose anything! Richard was too lenient, as usual. Oh, to be able to go back and put him on the right track where his foes were concerned! If I’d been him, Margaret Beaufort would indeed have been widowed, destitute and locked up forever (in a damp underground dungeon) with the key ‘lost’ somewhere in the North Sea.

So, Ms Leyser’s book clearly cannot be relied upon for anything. One small sentence contains three whacking great mistakes. Widowhood, destitution and imprisonment. What point is there in hoping the rest of the book will be better? So, a great disappointment, and I’d only looked at page 174!

A life on the 14th-century ocean waves….

Jeanne de Clisson

It would seem that pirate queens existed long before the 17th/18th century, the Spanish Main and swash-buckling as we know it. There was a certain French noblewoman in the 14th century who took her revenge upon the French for executing her husband, and did all she could with her pirate fleet to help the England of Edward III. She even married an English nobleman.

To learn more of this extraordinary woman, look at the colourful illustrations at http://www.rejectedprincesses.com/princesses/jeanne-de-clisson 

Then, when your interest has been stirred, find out more by Googling her name.

 

More Royal marital irregularity

Edward IV was not the only British late mediaeval king to play fast and loose with canon law. The other case dates from a century and a quarter before 8 June 1461 and had consequences for that king’s heirs; in particular his grandson:

Today in 1337, a first son, John, was born to Sir Robert Stewart, the Paisley-born High Steward of Scotland, and Elizabeth Mure at Scone. Sir Robert was heir presumptive to his uncle, David II, but David was eight years younger and widely expected to have children of his own. He was, indeed, to marry twice but failed to leave any heirs – although being imprisoned in the Tower for eleven years after the 1346 battle of Neville’s Cross didn’t help much, Sir Robert couldn’t have predicted this in 1336, when he undertook a marriage of sorts to Elizabeth Mure.

In the aftermath of Neville’s Cross, as Guardian of the Realm to his absent uncle, Sir Robert and Elizabeth sought to regularise their position under canon law through a dispensation and married properly in 1349. By this time, many of their four sons and six daughters had already been born and they were, arguably, legitimised by the marriage, which ended six years later when Elizabeth, now formally Lady Stewart, died. Sir Robert swiftly married Euphemia Ross, by whom he had two more sons and two daughters and is reckoned to have had eight illegitimate children as well. Jean Stewart, a daughter from his first marriage, married Sir John Lyon of Glamis, from whom the late Queen Mother was descended.

Shortly after this second marriage, David II was ransomed under the Treaty of Berwick, which was a Scottish town until Richard of Gloucester’s 1482 invasion. Joan “of the Tower”, his first wife and Edward III’s sister, died in 1362 and David married Margaret Drummond in 1364, whom he “divorced” in 1370 although this was reversed by the Pope. Although they had been on bad terms, David II died in 1371 and Sir Robert succeeded him as Robert II, to reign for nineteen years.

John, the eldest of his fourteen children, was created Earl of Carrick and was influential during his father’s reign and succeeded him as Robert III in 1390, to be crowned on his birthday. His reign was largely dominated by his brothers, Robert Duke of Albany and Alexander Earl of Buchan. His elder son, David Duke of Rothesay, died in 1402 in Albany’s custody at Falkland Palace. In 1406 he sent his younger son, James, to France only for English pirates to capture him.

Robert III died when he heard this and the new prisoner in the Tower succeeded as James I. He was held there for about seventeen years and returned with Joan “Beaufort”, Henry V’s apparent cousin, as his queen. Albany’s son and successor, Murdoch, two of his sons and his father-in-law were executed for delaying James’ release and the Lancastrian policy of religious persecution was adopted.

From 1436, a plan to depose or kill James was formulated and it involved Walter, Earl of Atholl and Caithness, a septuagenarian son of Robert II’s Ross marriage. It seems highly likely that he was motivated by a disbelief in the validity of the Mure marriage and thus the legitimacy of the offspring of it. The “Avignon” conspirators killed James I at the Blackfriars in Perth during February 1436/7 but his son was crowned and the House of Stewart survived. The surviving Robert_II_of_Scotland Robert_III,_King_of_Scotlandplotters, including Atholl, were tortured and executed.

So were John of Carrick, his siblings and descendants legitimate? It seems never to have been determined by the Church except through the 1347 dispensation. Carrick’s line has ruled Scotland ever since and England from 1603, except for the interregnum whilst Henry VII, a scion of bastardy himself, married his daughter Margaret to the senior Mure-Stewart: James IV.

That petition:
“The kings of France and Scotland, bishops William of St. Andrews, William of Glasgow, William of Aberdeen, Richard of Dunkeld, Martin of Argyle, Adam of Brechin, and Maurice of Dunblane. Signification that although Elizabeth Mor and Isabella Boutellier, noble damsels of the diocese of Glasgow, are related in the third and fourth degrees of kindred, Robert Steward of Scotland, lord of Stragrifis, in the diocese of Glasgow, the king’s nephew, carnally knew first Isabella, and afterwards, in ignorance of their kindred, Elizabeth, who was herself related to Robert in the fourth degree of kindred, living with her for some time and having many children of both sexes by her; the above king and bishops therefore pray the pope that for the sake of the said offspring, who are fair to behold (aspectibus gratiose), to grant a dispensation to Robert and Elizabeth to intermarry, and to declare their offspring legitimate.

To be granted by the diocesan, at whose discretion one or more chapelries are to be founded by Robert.

Avignon, 10 Kal. Dec. 1347

Why are hunchbacks always portrayed as evil….?

hunchback

Well, it’s true. They are. And it’s wrong! A terrible injustice that I hope will soon be a thing of the past.

Shakespeare turned Richard into something ridiculously grotesque and over the top, yet the truth was that he suffered from scoliosis, a condition that would not even have been evident in his lifetime, except to anyone who saw him undressed. Usain Bolt has scoliosis. So did Richard III. No more need be said.

So how grossly unfair and cruel it is that those who have kyphosis (an abnormal backward curve of the spine) should be labelled in this superstitious, medieval way. This is the 21st century, for heaven’s sake.

The following article contains some thoughts on the matter.

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/bodysphere/why-are-hunchbacks-always-portrayed-as-evil/7685816

One day, might the Tudor monster HAVE to finally give way to the real Richard III?….

Mona Lisa...meet Mona Lisa....

There is, apparently, a second, equally as genuine, version of the Mona Lisa. I know which one I prefer, and it’s not the one we always see, which makes me think it’s a rather dissolute  young man. (Yes, I do mean dissolute, because that is how ‘he’ strikes me.) But if da Vinci did indeed paint two versions of the same subject/pose, it makes me wonder if there might be another portrait of Richard III waiting to be found.

Mean Richard and Mystery Crown

Oh, if only! A contemporary likeness of Richard! How happy we’d be, because we  know now, thanks to Philippa Langley, John Ashdown-Hill & Co., that it would bear little resemblance to the ‘doctored’ portraits we’ve had to endure. Uneven shoulders, yes, but not a hump or fingers like claws. Without the mean eyes, compressed lips or menacing air of murderous intent, he’d be a truly handsome, aristocratic young man. Just Richard as he really was.

Well, Richard’s remains have been found….which not long ago seemed an absolutely impossible quest….so why not a long-forgotten portrait, preferably by a master?

We can dream, of course, and in the meantime there is this relatively short article about the two Mona Lisa portraits. If it turns out to be a hoax, I apologise in advance! But it did stir my grey cells, and set the Ricardian in me hoping.

http://english.qstheory.cn/culture/201302/t20130217_211327.htm

 

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