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!