The use of strawberries in the works about Richard III written by Thomas More, Edward Hall, and William Shakespeare has always been puzzling to me, and I suspect, many others. The fact that strawberry are given such a prominent mention in the ‘council chamber’ scene where Richard reveals an, ahem, withered arm, is well known… Continue reading THE SECRETS OF STRAWBERRIES


Recently I came across this print by Robert Walton, who was a 17thc printer and publisher. It was a part of a series of Kings. Although the rather bad poem beneath the picture toes the usual line, no doubt influenced by a certain Mr William Shakespeare’s then fairly new play, the drawing itself, although not… Continue reading A PRINT BY ROBERT WALTON

The portrait at Hever Castle is more like Henry VI than Richard III….

I’ve seen this (awful!) portrait of Richard before. It just doesn’t look like him, more one of the invented Tudor versions of him, i.e. monstrous and evil, or weak and terrified of all things Tudor. This one fits the ‘weak and terrified’ mould, and if it were listed as a portrait of Henry VI, I’d… Continue reading The portrait at Hever Castle is more like Henry VI than Richard III….

Was Keats an admirer of Margaret of Anjou….?

When I was at school (before the Flood in 1960!) and studying O level English Literature I had to endure Memoirs of a Fox-hunting Man (Siegfried Sassoon)😟, Henry IV Part I (the Bard, of course)😦 and Keats 🙃. Well, Keats was OK, I suppose, but what I remember about him most was all the sniggering… Continue reading Was Keats an admirer of Margaret of Anjou….?

No longer passing the Buc(k)?

Now for some very interesting news: Arthur Kincaid’s The History of King Richard the Third is set for a new edition, based on forty years of further research. Kincaid has managed to distinguish the forensic research of Sir George Buc (1560-1622), whose great-grandfather fought at Bosworth and whose grandfather was at Flodden, from that of… Continue reading No longer passing the Buc(k)?

The Stanley who could have been King.

Ferdinando Stanley (1559-1594) was very briefly 5th Earl of Derby. He was descended from Mary Tudor, Duchess of Suffolk, and according to the terms of Henry VIII’s will, which had statutory force in this respect he was the heir to Elizabeth I, since the Scottish branch were excluded. It is worth mentioning that he was… Continue reading The Stanley who could have been King.

Richard III had magnificent teeth….!

  “….[Richard’s] teeth, judging by the perfectly preserved skull, are magnificent….” Well, so they are! This article  says so! However, it also mentions hunchbacks and the University of Leicester “leading” the search for Richard’s remains, so there are minuses as well. BUT, his teeth are great! Which is more than can be said of Henry… Continue reading Richard III had magnificent teeth….!

Elizabeth Vernon, Countess of Southampton.

Elizabeth Vernon, who lived from 1572 to 1655, was a maid-of-honour to Queen Elizabeth I. In 1598, while serving in that capacity, she became pregnant by Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton (1573-1624) who is perhaps best remembered as a patron of Shakespeare. Queen Elizabeth was not amused, and had the pair of them thrown in… Continue reading Elizabeth Vernon, Countess of Southampton.

Some Shakespeare scenes re-written

Henry V DRIVER (presses bell) BUTLER (opens door) DRIVER: Mr. Monmouth? BUTLER: Sorry, he is busy at the moment. DRIVER: Dauphin’s Sporting Goods here. I have a delivery for him; can he spare a moment to sign for it? Otherwise I’ll probably have to take it back to the warehouse. BUTLER: He is with some… Continue reading Some Shakespeare scenes re-written