They don’t like it up ’em?

It seems that some of the denialists are becoming even more sensitive than before and dislike being called Cairo dwellers. One Michael Hicks acolyte went to the point of giving Matthew Lewis well-researched biography of Richard III a one-star review. Sadly for “Alex Brondarbit”, the introduction to his own latest book (below) by the Professor has also appeared. Although the length and phraseology differs, few will believe that Hicks didn’t “inspire” the secondary effort.

In his review, Hicks cites his own mentor, Charles Ross, describing his work as the definitive biography – and herein lies the problem. Ross wrote nearly forty years ago, reciting all of the old discredited sources, ending by stating that Richard’s body was dumped in the Soar after the Reformation. Hicks has written at least a dozen books about Richard III in that time, still based on Ross’ research, but the history and the science have moved on.

In fact, we at Murrey and Blue have drawn attention to this stasis on several occasions, pointing to:
Barrie Williams‘ painstaking research in the Portuguese archives that proved Richard’s remarriage plans soon after Anne Neville’s death, thereby contradicting the hoary old myth about Richard and Elizabeth of York,
Marie Barnfield‘s proof that “affinity does not beget affinity” and that Richard and Anne had all the dispensations they required,
The conclusive identification of Richard’s remains, which were still under the former Greyfriars and nowhere near the river Soar, through research initiated by John Ashdown-Hill and others,
Ashdown-Hill’s work on the pre-contract, restoring Lady Eleanor to her rightful place in history as Edward IV’s legal wife.
The evidence adduced by Wroe, Carson, Fields and Lewis, inter alia, suggesting that either or both “Princes” survived beyond 1485 together with Ashdown-Hill’s discovery of their mtDNA.

As one who has read both Kendall and Ross on several occasions, it is surely the case that the former captures Richard III’s essence far better, notwithstanding the fact that it was the earlier book. We have a whole series of posts based on the book Kendall could have written today and we can be confident that he would take account of this new learning were he still alive. Ross both wrote and died more recently but I doubt that he would have changed a word, just as Hicks’ mind is unchanged in that interval, even as the evidence points in a different direction. He evidently has a lesser opinion of amateurs, as many of the above are, but it is they who have made the great discoveries since 1980. It is the amateurs who have conducted original research here and not relied on the flaws inherent in Mancini, Vergil and More.

As the Arabs, including those in Cairo, say: The dog barks, but the caravan moves on.

By super blue

Grandson of a Town player.


  1. I am sick of “amateurs” being hard done by. We (and I include myself) are not confined to the set and recommended reading lists of academics. Our minds are always open to possibilities and we all have the ability to think outside the box. One does not necessarily need some letters after their name to be regards as an authority in their chosen field of study.

    Many thanks for your post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think it’s unfortunate that the dispute between Ricardians and King Richard’s severest critic has become so adversarial and, dare I say it, emotional (‘they don’t like it up em’). I hold no particular brief for historians whether they’re amateur (like myself), professional or academic. We all have to work with facts. And sometimes the facts are equivocal, as in the case of King Richard III. I have read Kendall, Ross, Hicks, and Uncle Tom Cobbly an’ all, and the only historian to own-up to padding out the material with his imagination is professor Paul Murray Kendal the doyen of modern Ricardians. Moreover, there is little difference between Kendall’s conclusion on the disappearance of the Princes and that of prof Ross. Kendall does not acquit Richard of murdering his nephews; his verdict is not proven. Ross does not convict Richard; the most he can argue is ‘it is not unlikely’ that he murdered his nephews. Whereas, professor Hicks, on the other hand, seems to be on a frolic of his own to irritate Ricardians.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. To SuperBlue, Zenonian, Melisende, et al,

    I can only speak for myself but if Prof Hicks is feeling a bit sniffy concerning the unwashed daring to stray into his academic patch then I personally take that as a VERY good sign – “if you’re not catching flak, you’re not over the target” – as they used to say (and probably still do, in a multitude of situations, not just military!)

    Ricardians have been OVER the ‘target’ for decades and indeed, produced far more legitimate results than anything Ross or Hicks can CLAIM, whatever their publishers and acolytes shout in promotional material (or lectern). Ricardians FOUND a intentionally vilified king, proved it scientifically, endured even Hick’s pathetic reproaches, and I personally believe we will see a similar result for finding the remains of Edward V – and it won’t be in the urn at Westminster.

    As to Prof Ross (and Hicks), on a suggestion by Matt Lewis to read the very lengthy account of Edward IV’s (endless) problems with Louis XI in Cora Scofield’s 2 volume biography I admit I was hesitant – it was written before Mancini, and certainly before so much of what the Richard III Society has published.

    Let me tell you, it is worth it, as a scholar with an eye for detail Scofield makes Hicks and appear to be the amateurs! While she knows her E4 quite well, I warn ricardians now, she does NOT know Richard at all well, she relies on faulty assessments from Croyland (that petty, pretentious decayed cleric, who ever he was!) many of the mistakes are simple to correct, if she had had time or inclination, some are just born of ‘it fit the stereotype’ of who Richard ‘must have been’ when all you had was Vergil, More, Croyland, Fabyan et al. Considering how many of Richard’s letters HAVE survived and that it is possible to track down who the men were that Richard sent to Ralph Hastings (in respect to William’s plot against him as Protector) I think had Scofield decided to pursue a similar biography on Richard we probably wouldn’t have had the SAME sort of results from a Ross or Hicks.

    I had no intention of even making notes from Scofield, and yet, in a strange way it is quite refreshing to NOT be constantly having to hear what Mancini says about this or that! Try it, for ricardians who have never experienced the world BEFORE the AlmightyMancini it is curious indeed!

    Thanks for the post, and keep the flak jacket on!


    ( …. Mancini, and I will say this until Hicks finally understands, was a somewhat timid but willing operative for Archbishop Cato, on behalf of LXI, sent to London, to intercept the material ALREADLY in play there by in place spies (LXI had a spy system on a magnitude and competence that will not be seen again until H7, who had in fact a thorough police state up and running within not years but months of Bosworth, that we know the names of his MOTHER’S own spies as early as summer 1483 is just one indication of how competent his/her organization would be) … I’m riled up because on the back of my Horrox I saw again the blurb about ‘why the Tudors were so successful vs why Richard failed’ uh huh, yes, a Stasi will succeed, won’t they! I remind everyone, that EVEN Saint Thomas More was thrilled when H7 died, because with him went the ever present world of INFORMERS that plagued a post-Yorkist world!)


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