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I Would Rather See the Hunting of a Duck…

Certain ‘books’ (ahem) often go on about Richard III’s supposed unpopularity and describe his brother Edward IV in glowing terms, putting him forth as a universally loved and admired monarch. (Even worse are those writers who make the brave, ruthless, warrior-King Edward into  some kind of hapless old duffer, totally cowed and pushed about by his little brother, and seemingly hardly aware of his supposedly ‘evil machinations.’)

However, I came across this reference to someone from 1461 who was DEFINITELY not best pleased at the crowning of the handsome young Edward. A certain London notary got in hot water with the authorities for saying in public,  ‘twutte and tourde for hym! I [would rather see] the hunting of a duck as him’ [KB 145/7/1]’

It  is an extraodinary statement, not only because he was insulting a new King who had just won a very bloody battle indeed, but for  his liberal  usage of the profanities ‘twutte’ and ‘tourde’. Other than the spellings, how very modern his outrage (and bad language) seems!





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2 thoughts on “I Would Rather See the Hunting of a Duck…

  1. sighthound6 on said:

    I wonder how historians gauge popularity of medieval kings? No opinion polls back then – and even modern opinion polls vary and often prove to be wrong. The average person had no way of indicating satisfaction or contentment and, frankly, I suspect most people didn’t give a damn about who the king was as long as they were allowed to get on with their lives. Especially given that most of them barely earned enough to feed themselves and rent some kind of shelter. As for the ruling class, it was all about whether they were “in” or “out”. If you were “in” you were happy, and your clients were happy. If you were “out” you probably thought the king was a lousy sort of king.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. halfwit36 on said:

    The more things change…, the more they remain the same.


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