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Well, folks, even in 1170 it seems they were hell-bent on  giving out improbable excuses!

(This amusing cartoon parodying the recent events in Salisbury made me smile.)



Henry VII escaped by a whisker….!

enery 7Henry Tudor certainly didn’t have it all his own way after Bosworth, although his incredible luck held – as it did throughout his life, except for losing his wife and eldest son. He didn’t replace the first, but had a spare for the second. Richard III had not had that luxury.

But in 1486, during a time of Yorkist uprisings against him, Henry escaped an assassination attempt. Oh, if only it had succeeded! His luck interceded yet again, and not a whisker of him was harmed. Unfortunately for his foes, they either had to flee the country or were captured and paid the price. Francis Lovell had been holed up in sanctuary in Colchester and eventually escaped to the continent (it is thought) but Sir Humphrey Stafford was drawn, hanged and quartered. A horrible fate. I’m equally horrible enough to wish it had befallen Henry.

The paragraph above is clearly only touching the surface of what went on at this vital time. The Yorkists weren’t organised enough to carry those days, and all Henry suffered was a terrible, gnawing fear that remained with him for the rest of his life. This link that follows is concerned with Desmond Seward’s excellent book The Last White Rose: The Secret Wars of the Tudors, which is always worth dipping into. Very readable. So to find out more about these abortive rebellions, and Henry’s almost devilishly good fortune, have at this book!


An assassin who thought he was King Richard III….!


assassination attempt on Andrew Jackson

There have been no fewer than seventeen attempts on the lives of US Presidents, only four of which succeeded. The very first one of them all was a failure, and the would-be assassin was an Englishman who thought he (the assassin, not the President) was King Richard III. His intended victim was Andrew Jackson.

Today, 30th January, in 1835, an unemployed English painter named Richard Lawrence stepped up to Jackson, who was leaving a funeral at the time. Lawrence squeezed the trigger  not once, but twice, with two different pistols, and both times the weapons misfired. Damp powder is blamed now, but at the it seemed miraculous. Jackson even set about his attacker with his cane!

Why Lawrence thought he was Richard isn’t known. Not to me, anyway. I’d have preferred it if Jackson was the one who thought he was Richard, and that when he set about Lawrence, he was setting about Henry VII! Ah, well…

Read a little more here …

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