The truth about Sir John Arundel? Or more Walsingham malice….?

Fleet of Richard II, depicted in British Library Harley 1319 f. 18

Well now, are we to believe the horrific tale related at Medievalists.net? Or should we regard it as yet another malicious work of imagination from Thomas Walsingham. Let’s face it, Walsingham was venomous and untruthful to a fault. The nastiest type of tale-teller. Which leaves me disinclined to believe that Sir John Arundel was guilty in this instance.

Walsingham either disagreed with the whole venture, or had a grudge against Sir John Arundel. The only true part of his narrative is likely to be the storm!

Froissart sometimes got the wrong end of the stick, but he didn’t lie knowingly. Walsingham did, and his last paragraph is proof (to me) that he knew he’d just fibbed quite disgracefully.

2 comments

  1. Well, the fact that he felt it necessary to add a disclaimer at the end saying basically that “if you don’t believe this story, don’t blame me; I’m just telling you what I heard” says to me that it definitely was NOT true lol.

    It’s like a small child telling you that elves came in the middle of the night and ate all of the cookies in the jar….and then, when you question his story, he tells you that HE didn’t see it, HE’s just repeating what his sister said, blame her.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Walsingham, in 2020, would be writing for the Sun. He lies (and can be proved to lie) and when he doesn’t lie, he distorts. But many historians use him without ever querying his veracity. I believe he is one reason Richard II gets such an appalling press.

    Liked by 1 person

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