A Ricardian author, C J Lock, has long been interested in John F Kennedy and has kindly given permission to reproduce her post about the parallels between JFK and Richard III.
“On the anniversary of the death of John Fitzgerald Kennedy , it struck me that there are many similarities between two of my personal fallen heroes – both of whom were brutally killed before being able to realise their full potential as leaders.
Both leaders were of the Catholic faith.
Both suffered the death of a young son whilst in power.
Both were accused of treason by those who killed them (Dallas press editorial accused Kennedy at the time of his visit to Texas – Richard laughably attainted by Henry Tudor after he dated his own reign from the day before he actually became king by usurpation).
Both had health problems which affected their spines. JKF suffered from a persistent problem after rupturing a disc in his spine and also had Addison’s Disease. He wore a protective corset which led to him remaining upright after the first shot in Dallas – making him a prime target for further shots where others may have crumpled forwards). Richard suffered from idiopathic scoliosis which we now know would have been barely discernible at the time he lived – both his clothes and armour being tailored to cover this condition. Very few knew of JKF’s health issues during his lifetime, either.
Both lost an elder brother before assuming power. (JFK’s elder brother, Joe Jnr, was originally the one groomed for Presidential power and lost his life in an aviation accident during WW2 – Richard’s elder brother was King Edward IV and was the heir of the York family after the death of the Duke of York at Wakefield in 1460).
Both came to power under a cloud of controversy – JFK’s father was seen to have “bought” votes which swung the result in his son’s favour. Richard assumed power after declaring his nephew (Edward’s son – Edward V should he have been anointed) illegitimate on the basis that Edward’s marriage to Elizabeth Woodville was bigamous after he had already entered into a former clandestine marriage with Eleanor Butler.
In pictures, JFK can be seen fiddling with his small finger – portraits show Richard doing the same.
JFK did military service for his country and was wounded whilst rescuing the crew of PT109 – Richard also served in military service for his country and was wounded at Barnet.
Both suffered a major crisis early in their short reign – the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 and the Buckingham Rebellion in 1483
JFK picked the Texan LBJ as his Vice President which seemed an odd choice – Richard kept Lord Thomas Stanley on his council, despite knowing the man had shifting loyalties.
JFK was famously unhappy at the failed “Bay of Pigs” invasion of Cuba for which planning was underway before he became President – Richard was famously unhappy at the failed invasion of France during his brother’s reign.
Both suffered a scandal towards the end of their reigns involving beautiful blondes. (JFK was involved with Marilyn Monroe – there were rumours that Richard was designing to marry his niece, Elizabeth of York).
Both were killed in the heartland of their enemies. JFK had never been popular in Texas – Richard died in Leicestershire, the Lancastrian heart of the country (and he’s still there!)
Both were in power for less than three years.
Both killed by treachery.
Both killed on the 22nd day of the month.
Both killed by fatal trauma to the head.
On the last day of JFK’s life – Jackie Kennedy was handed red roses at Love Field airport – where the symbol of Texas is the yellow rose. The red rose is recognised as the symbol of the House of Lancaster before Henry Tudor usurped the throne.
The man arrested for the murder of JFK – Lee Harvey Oswald, was killed by Jack Ruby, on the basis that he wanted to save Jackie Kennedy the distress of having to sit through a trial. The Duke of Northumberland, who famously did nothing at Bosworth, was killed whilst collecting taxes in Yorkshire for Henry Tudor. It is rumoured he was killed by those loyal to Richard’s memory because he did not engage in the battle. There is now speculation that he did not join battle because he could not – and not because he had previously been unhappy with Richard’s dominance in the north. (But this is only very recent thinking).
After JFK’s autopsy, samples taken went missing, including his brain. When Richard was discovered in 2012, his feet were missing.
Mystery and speculation have followed these two men through history as debate after debate rages on who actually killed John Fitzgerald Kennedy – and what actually happened to the Princes in the Tower whose final resting place, at whatever time they may have died, has never been discovered (unless of course you count the unidentified remains currently contained in an urn in Westminster Abbey).”
C J Lock is the author of ‘The Gloucester Chronicles‘ and ‘Desmond’s Daughter‘.
Image credits (JFK): By Cecil Stoughton, White House [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
RIII:See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons