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Not a book to be taken seriously….

King Edward IV

Would you like a few sniggers and outright guffaws? Yes? Then I have just the book for you—Lives of England’s Monarchs by H. E. Lehman. I was searching for something specific, and for some reason Google took me first to page 182…

“…Edward [IV] was a large man possessed of great leadership ability and personal charm. But in many ways he lacked foresight, and was impulsive to his own hurt. He alienated many of his strongest supporters by seducing their wives. In Edward’s behalf, it should be added that, in those cases, it was the husbands, not the wives, who complained most strenuously…”

He alienated many of his strongest supporters by seducing their wives???? Where have I been? This is the first I’ve heard of these mass seductions and furious husbands. Does anyone know any more?

And from page 181 of the same book…

“…Edward’s youngest brother, Richard, Duke of Gloucester (later Richard III) was always loyal. King Edward trusted and made Richard vice-regent for all the northern provinces of England. In reward for his loyalty, Edward gave Anne Neville, Countess of Northumberland, to Richard as his bride. (If that name sounds familiar, it is because she is the same Anne Neville, who briefly, was married to Queen Margaret’s Edward, Prince of Wales, near the end of Henry VI’s tragic reign.) Richard defended England against Scottish invasion, and secured the northland throughout Edward’s reign…”

Countess of Northumberland? Wouldn’t Harry Percy have noticed when his wife turned up as Richard’s queen? Was that the reason for Percy’s ill attendance at Bosworth? Oh, and the author also declares that Warwick Castle was in Northumbria.


More from page 181…

“…Fourteen year old Henry Tudor (later Henry VII) was a trouble-maker in Northumberland, but bastardy in both his parent’s lines of descent (i.e. bastard Tudor and bastard Beaufort) made his royal connections seem too remote ever to be a real threat to the Yorkist line…Even so, just to be on the safe side, Edward exiled him from England. Henry Tudor went to live with his paternal uncle, Jasper Tudor, in Brittany, France…”

King Henry VII

Edward exiled him? Then spent years and year trying to lure him back? I think not! Edward would have grabbed the little varmint there and then, no messing about. (Oh, if ONLY!)And Brittany wasn’t in France at that point. You couldn’t make it up. Well, H.E. Lehman has, clearly.

For more entertainment, you should look at the book itself. If the link doesn’t work, Lives of England’s Monarchs by H. E. Lehman is available in Google books.



History has a weird way of repeating itself….

Richard II of England 20140327_39

Following on from the blog above, entitled More C17 coincidences, it occurred to me that there is another strange set of coincidences concerning Richard III (1452-1485), and his predecessor and namesake of the previous century, Richard II (1367-1400). And I do not only mean being killed and usurped.

Both had a queen named Anne (Richard II married Anne of Bohemia, Richard III married Anne Neville), who died before them and left them childless. Richard II never had children, and Richard III’s only legitimate child, a son, predeceased him.

The two kings were very young when their fathers passed away, Richard II about ten when the Black Prince died of devastated health, and Richard III a boy of eight when the Duke of York was executed after defeat in battle.

As if this were not enough to link these tragic Richards, Richard II died a month into his 33rd year, and Richard III was 32. They could, conceivably, have both been 32. Just. Because the exact date of Richard II’s murder is not known.

During these monarchs’ reigns, as Brian Wainwright has pointed out, both had devoted support in the north – in Richard II’s case, Cheshire in the north-west, and in Richard III’s case Yorkshire and the far north of England. Both, as super blue points out below, chose white animals as their personal badge, Richard II the white hart, and Richard III the white boar. Both were also plagued by plots, rebellions and powerful barons, and both were to be killed by a Lancastrian usurper named Henry (Henry IV and Henry VII).

These usurping Henrys had a strong link to the House of Beaufort, an illegitimate line descended from Richard II’s uncle, John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster. Although, it has to be said, Henry IV did not want this baseborn link, and especially wanted it barred from the succession, whereas Henry VII needed the Beauforts and for them to be included in the succession. Theirs was the only small drop of English royal blood that he had, and it gave him his precarious and almost invisible claim to the throne! Except for having killed Richard III through dark and bloody treachery, which, of course, is what killed Richard II as well.

There are bound to be more coincidences linking these kings, but already there is more than enough for me to think that in their case, history repeated itself almost eerily . . .

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