Richard III is third, Edward V is second….

This article is, I fear, another case of piercing Richard III in the back with that stealthy weapon, the hidden judgement. The attack isn’t open, but hidden behind the deceptive cloak of dark suggestion. Some might say, having read the article, that Richard’s short reign was poetic justice. More sensible folk, being acquainted with the facts, will say that Richard did nothing to warrant such condemnation.

If his brother Edward IV’s marriage was illegal, then the children were illegitimate. Illegitimate children were barred from the throne. Richard was legitimate and so the throne was rightfully his…and in due course his son and heir would succeed him.

Well, if things had gone as they should, that’s what would have happened. As it was, Richard’s child died, so did his queen, Anne, and then Richard himself. Yet it’s said he deserved it. Why? His is a very sad story…not one of blood, murder, scheming and cruelty. Well, not on his part. When it comes to brutal skulduggery, we leave it to the Tudors.

I see nothing ominous in Edward V’s brief tenure as his father’s successor. Richard fully intended to have him crowned. He didn’t “say” he was protecting his nephews, he was protecting them. He was Lord Protector of the Realm, for Heaven’s sake, placed in that position by the boys’ late father! He behaved honourably. What was he supposed to do? Pretend Edward IV‘s marriage was true and let his illegitimate son ascend the throne? Why is the opposite always read into it? And why is it seldom pointed out that his own life was in danger from the boys’ maternal family, the Woodvilles?

Anyway, in the above article’s list of “shortest reigns”, Richard makes it to third place, with Edward V in second. But both are eclipsed by the unfortunate Lady Jane Grey, who was beheaded by the Tudors. Where is the outcry against this crime? Hmm…the Tudors are sacrosanct. Bah!

This article discusses the story of Richard and the boys in the Tower. It leans heavily on More, who we all know was an extremely precocious five years old, able at such a tender age to observe, understand and judge events of which he couldn’t have personally seen anything. The article leaves the final question unanswered—was Richard III innocent or guilty?—and I think the writer must have found it very difficult to be even-handed, given that Morton was his mentor – that holy man Morton, who was pious and honest to the tips of his conniving little pinkies….

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