A treacherous herald….

No, these two aren’t treacherous! They’re pursuivants at Windsor Castle in 2006 – picture from Wikipedia

Here is a link to an interesting paper about a certain Roger Machado, who is known to have been Henry VII’s herald. It seems that before then he’d been Leicester Herald to Edward IV, Edward V and Richard III, but deserted Richard late in 1483 to go over to the Dark Side. Er, sorry, to Henry Tudor.

I don’t know how these things were done in the 15th century, or who appointed heralds, but if this one actually was Leicester Herald to Edward V, surely this is a pointer to Richard’s having fully expected to see his nephew on the throne? This, to me, is evidence that the accusations of More, Shakespeare & Company were untrue. The Duke of Gloucester didn’t have an eye on the throne from the outset. So his preparations for Edward V’s coronation were honest.

Herald, 1597


  1. Forgive me for saying this because I am on your side in the debate about Richard III, but the possibility that Machado was the Leicester Herald to Edward V, is not evidence of Gloucester’s genuine intention to crown the young prince, for two reasons. First, your premise (that Machado was Leicester Herald to Edward V) is based on an assumption. Second your argument is a non sequitur. It doesn’t follow as a matter of logic that Gloucester’s motive was pure; he might just as easily have been working of a very effective and clever ruse to fool people. More suggestive of his good faith ( though not conclusive) is the preparations he sanctioned for Edward’s first parliament and the sermon (speech) drafted by Bishop Russel for the opening of Parliament.

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  2. Thanks for posting this. I’d seen Gemma Watson’s PhD thesis, on which this was based, but didn’t realise she had developed it further.
    I agree with Jack that this tells us nothing about Richard’s motives as Protector. All the heralds just continued in post from one reign to the next unless replaced by someone else, as far as I can tell.

    I’m not at all sure I go along with Watson’s suggestion that the mission on which Dorset sent Machado would have been in aid of Henry Tudor’s needs. If so, why did Tudor not authorise Machado directly, i.e. why was Machado trying to bill Dorset and not Tudor?
    I’ve actually got a copy of this document. Some of the people Machado notes that he visited on Dorset’s behalf are a bit hard to identify, but every single one of them appears to be linked to the House of Luxembourg; they were therefore blood relatives of Dorset’s. And the mission seems to have come shortly prior to Dorset’s attempt to escape from Tudor in the same direction (a lot of historians are loath to accept that Dorset did try to make off in early 1485, but Bernard Andre gives a very precise account of the whole business, and Dorset was left behind as a hostage for repayment of loans when HT crossed over to England). In fact, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it wasn’t Machado who informed on the Marquis, leading to his extremely speedy recapture.

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