As a writer of medieval fiction, and therefore stuck with a preponderance of Johns, Edwards, Richards, Edmunds and so on, I’m only relieved not to have been asked to write a history of St Stephen’s Chapel. SO many Johns? Of the human variety, I hasten to add!
This article: Where did all the Johns come from? – An Oddity in the History of St Stephen’s Chapel is both interesting and amusing.
Edward IV 1442-1483
For a king whose reign is otherwise well documented it is curious that the cause of Edward’s death remains a mystery. It would appear that his death was unexpected. It seems he was first taken ill at the end of March and despite having access to some of the best medical care available at that time, died on the 9 April at his Palace of Westminster.
Edward IV’s Coat of Arms, British Library royal manuscripts
Mancini attributed his illness to a cold caught while fishing. Commynes mentions a stroke while the Croyland Chronicler wrote he ‘was affected neither by old age nor by any known kind of disease which would not have seemed easy to cure in a lesser person’ – in other words the doctors didn’t have a name for the illness that sent Edward to his grave. How strange. Rumours abounded of death by poisoning some even going so far as to blame it on a gift of wine from the French king. Molinet ascribed it as the result of eating a salad after he had become overcome by heat (in April! in England!!) which caused a chill, others said it was an apoplexy brought on by the treaty of Arras, malaria was even suggested. Later, Sir Winston Churchill in his History of the English Speaking Peoples, would put it down fair and square to debauchery. But at the end of the day , as Richard E Collins points out (1) most people were concerned with what happened AFTER Edward’s death, rather than what caused it.
The Old Palace of Westminster where Edward died 9 April 1483
Collins wrote an essay on Edward’s death that was included in Secret History the Truth About Richard lll and the Princes. He had a considerable knowledge of medical matters and having done some very through research into the death of Edward presented his findings to other medical professionals for their opinions. They all concluded ‘that the cause of death which best explained all the known facts was poison, probably by some heavy metal such as arsenic’.
First of all an attempt to solve the mystery was to run though Edwards symptoms but first of all deal with the timescale. Given that the Croyland Chronicler wrote that Edward took to his bed around Easter and since Easter Sunday was on the 30 March ‘we are dealing with a period of around 10-12 days from inception to death. If peoples behaviour was anything to go by his death came as a surprise to the Court’. As Edwards body was laid out naked for viewing, Collins was then able to rule out death caused by violence, there being no traumas/injuries, accidental or deliberate, no puncture wounds, bruises etc., Furthermore there were no marks to be seen of specific diseases such as mumps, smallpox, measles, scarlet fever, chicken pox, bubonic plague, typhus, enteric fever. Other non-infectious conditions that mark the skin are also able to be ruled out such as purpuras (blotches caused by bleeding under the skin) which can be caused by leukaemia, haemophilia, plague and alcoholism. Thirdly there was not the ‘wasting’ caused by cancer, unrelated diabetes, septicaemia or starvation caused by malabsorption.
Anything sudden such as a massive coronary, stroke, pulmonary embolism or a perforated ulcer can be ruled out due to the timescale. Long drawn out conditions such as ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis and cancer can also be ruled out.
Collins then considers the contemporary sources beginning with Sir Thomas More, who writing 30 years after the event makes no comment on the cause of death save ‘he perceived his natural strength was so sore enfeebled that he despaired all recovery’. More, as was his wont, wrote a pages long speech delivered on his deathbed. Collins who had been present at least on 200 natural deaths had never heard a deathbed speech. However as we know More never let the truth stand in the way of a good story. The Crowland Chronicler also gave no cause while Vergil wrote that ‘he fell sick of an unknown disease’. The only definite accounts actually come from those who were least likely to be in the know such as Mancini and de Commines, Mancini puts Edward’s death down to a mix of ‘sadness’ plus a cold he caught while on a fishing trip. According to Collins this does not add up as the suggestions of Edward dying of grief cannot be taken seriously and as for the chill he would not have been able to indulge in such a frivolity during Holy Week – therefore the latest this trip would have been taken place was the 22 March – which would mean that Edward hung around in a fever for 10 days without treatment which is also unlikely. Collins add ‘Mancini is remarkably popular with those who dislike Richard and it is sad to proclaim that their supporter is a speaker of Rubbish’ – priceless! De Commines ascribes his death to apoplexy and ‘while it is possible to have a stroke 10 days apart, the second proving fatal, it is quite impossible to believe that no-one expected him to die after the first, but obviously they didn’t’.
Hall later wrote ‘whether it was with the melancholy and anger that he took with the French king…or were it by any superfluous surfeit to which he was much given, he suddenly fell sick and was with a grevious malady taken, yes so grievously taken, that his vital spirits begun to fail and wax feeble..’. Basically Hall didn’t know how Edward died either.
Collins makes the observation that ‘medieval physicians had at best a poor understanding of medicine and at worse a ridiculous and dangerous one. This represented a falling away from the common sense views and practices of the Greeks, which if they could not cure much knew how not to make a patient worse. In 1483 most medieval practices were designed to do just that – make the patient worse that is – and they succeeded well. Almost any condition was treated by drawing off a pint of blood or more and administering emetics and laxatives to ‘purge evil humours’. Such a regime is seldom good for a sick person and will often kill rather than cure by dehydration if you go slowly or by shock if quickly. Only rarely did they have a treatment that was effective, one case in point is apoplexy where bleeding will reduce the blood on the cerebral vessels…medieval medicine was more often more dangerous than the disease and most people avoided doctors if they could. Despite this medieval doctors were rarely at a loss for a diagnosis and the terms they used are a joy to read – Chrisomes, Frighted, Griping-in-the-Guts (a small town in Gloucestershire?), Head-moult-Shot, Rising of the Lights Lethargy and meagrome’.
Collins sums up with it may well worth be listening to Crowland after all, he may have been present at Westminster at the time and spoken to physicians about the case, when he said that Edward was affected by ‘no known disease’.
As to why someone would want to send Edward to an early grave by poisoning, that dear reader is another story. I have drawn heavily from R E Collins excellent treatise on the subject but would mention that anyone who is interested in this theory would do well to read (if they have not already done so) The Maligned King by Annette Carson, who also covers this theory thoroughly in chapter 1.
ELIZABETH WYDEVILLE, EDWARD’S ‘QUEEN’ WHOM HE MARRIED BIGAMOUSLY
Westminster Hall venue of the King Richard lll and Queen Anne Neville’s Coronation Feast.
Queen Anne and King Richard from the Rous Roll. Anne is wearing the Crown of Queen Edith and Richard wears the Crown of St Edward.
And so dear reader, Richard and Anne were crowned. We do not know for sure but let us hope the sun shone for them that day..it was July after all. Proceeding slowly back to the Great Hall of the Palace of Westminster from whence they had come, the newly crowned couple ‘toke their chambres’ and at four o’clock after a short rest Richard and Anne returned to the great hall and were seated, the Queen on the king’s left hand side, at the marble table on the great dais at the southern end.
Westminster Hall looking towards the area where the dais and the kings table stood.
The massive hammer beam roof seen from the dais looking northwards towards the doors.
The north end of the hall and the entrance from a 19th century painting
In the interim while they were resting in their ‘chambres’ the Duke of Norfolk had ridden his horse, which was ‘traped in clothe of gold down to the grounde’ through the great doors and so he rode about ‘voiding the people saving only the kinges servants and the Duke of Buckingham’ ..as you do. Following which all the guests sat down in their allotted places at 4 long bordes (tables) stretching the length of the hall ..nightmare! All had gone well, what a marvellous day …and now the feasting begun..interrupted only by the Kinges Champion, Sir Robert Dimmoke, who wearing white harness, came into the hall mounted on his horse which was ‘traped in white silke and redde downe to the grounde’ declaring if there were any man in the hall ‘that will saye the contrary why that King Richarde shulde not pretend and have the crowne’ he should say so now. After drinking ‘a cope wythe wine coverid’ Sir Robert left the hall the way he had arrived, on horseback and clutching the ‘cope’ which was payment for his ‘labor'(1). Buckingham wisely kept his mouth shut that day and thus survived, if only for a short while.
And thus the feasting continued, the king being served on gold plate, the queen on gilt.
First an’harold of armes proclaymyng the feast
|Potage: Frumentie with venison and bruett Tuskayne|
And so, in the summer evening, the banquet broke up by torch light, having taken so long the third course was never served. It was the end of an unforgettable day and as the guests departed ‘wher yt lyked them best’ they would have noticed the conduit in Westminster Yard that had been filled with a tun of red wine. Perfect! I do wonder though if anyone spared a thought for the poor souls left to do the washing up!
I am greatly indebted to Anne Sutton and Peter Hammond for the above information I have gleaned from their marvellous book: The Coronation of Richard lll – the Extant Documents.
Thanks to the contemporaneous accounts given by Croyland (1) and the Acts of Court (2) we have a good insight into the events that followed, almost immediately, the death of Queen Anne i.e. the rumours that Richard, in his eagerness to marry his niece, hastened the death of his wife with the aid of poison – his denial, made publically, ‘in a loud and distinct voice’ (3) in the Great Hall of the Priory of the Knights Hospitaller of St John, Clerkenwell – pushed to it by Sir Richard Ratcliffe and William Catesby, although Croyland adds, rather slyly, it was not what he really wished himself..and there is no need to go into all the detail here as it is well known.
The Gate House of the Priory of the Knights Hospitaller of St John at Clerkenwell.
I would have thought, hopefully , that nowadays, the idea that Richard could have poisoned Anne is now perceived as ridiculous, a complete and utter nonsense. However, not entirely so. Indeed Prof Hicks in his biography of Anne – Anne Neville Queen to Richard lll (“The first time in ages that a publisher has sent me a book that I actually want to read” opines David Starkey – well he would wouldn’t he?) wrote, in a chapter headed ‘Past her Sell By Date’ that ‘she was unwell, languishing and died, unattended and indeed unregretted by her husband”(4). What? Anne the Queen, dying a lonely death, cruelly neglected by her uncaring husband? – its a Scandal!. And where was Richard at that desperately sad time? One way to find out..check Rhoda Edwards wonderful little book – The Itinerary of King Richard lll 1483 – 1485(5). And there we have it..the truth of the matter. From the onset of Anne’s fatal illness, not long after Christmas 1484 to her death on Wednesday 16 March 1485, Richard never left the Palace of Westminster, where she lay dying, except for a total of ll days when he was at Windsor.
I would say that there could be no stronger indication than this, that, yes, Richard did love his wife and was loyal to her to the end. He could have gone elsewhere, made his excuses, got away from it all but he didn’t. He stayed with her until the day she died – finally leaving Westminster on Thursday 12 April – never to return. Five months later, he too was dead. Clearly he gave to Anne the loyalty that he was to find so disastrously lacking in others to himself. But then again, this was a man whose motto was Loyaltie me Lie.
This illustration is from a report about the Westminster World Heritage Site that dates from 2007. It contains some interesting information and rather good illustrations, especially of what the site looked like in late-Medieval times. Worth dipping into.
The view above is how it is believed the abbey and palace looked circa 1532, or thereabouts, so perhaps not that far removed from the Westminster Richard would have known.
Perhaps I should add that this particular illustration is much clearer and easier to read in the actual article.
This new book looks at the characters, motivations, events and nomenclature of the Wars of the Roses, as we now know them. It confronts the great cliche that the series of battles began in 1455 and ended in 1485, demonstrating convincingly that it was still in progress decades later. Despite the fame of the Henry Payne mural of the two Dukes choosing their roses in the Temple garden (from Henry VI Part I, Scene II Act 4, now in the Commons’ East Corridor of the Palace of Westminster)
it challenges the myth on which it is based. The author goes on to illustrate the events of many later conflicts which ought to be considered as part of the series, devoting a whole chapter to a reinterpretation of one in particular.
My only criticism is that this linear extension could have encompassed other later events.
My thanks to everyone at Murrey & Blue who helped with this article. It was very much a team effort, and you know who you are.
An Elizabethan Professor Introduced Me to Richard
A long time ago, at a university far away, I took a class on medieval history from a professor who thought Elizabeth I walked on water. He assigned a paper, and I didn’t know what to write about. He suggested Richard III, about whom I knew nothing. Our text didn’t mention him, and the professor’s lectures hadn’t, either, so off I went to the uni library to correct that deficit in my education. There are times I’m grateful to him. There are other times I wish he’d given me another, less controversial subject to write on.
The first source I consulted was Thomas More. Because hey, he was a knight and a saint, and surely he could be trusted? Ten minutes in, I had the same reaction to him that I had to Frank Harris’s biography on Oscar Wilde: This reads like backstairs gossip. I went looking for other sources. And thus I learned that all sources are not alike, and the difference goes far beyond whether a source is primary or secondary.
There are historians and other writers whose research and conclusions you can trust when it comes to Richard III, and there are those you have to approach with squinty eyes. You stick the latter’s work under a mental microscope because their research and their conclusions are suspect, if not twisted, by a prior agenda, or by the ruler under which they wrote, or because they must publish or die as an academic and have to adhere to whichever slant is fashionable at the time. Seldom do you find a gem in the form of independent researcher who has the time and the independence to research original 15th-century documents, relay the facts, and doesn’t twist what they find into personal fantasy.
I learned to appreciate and respect the gems, and to treat the others like especially nasty viruses because their brand of Whisper-Down-the-Alley tended to replicate itself in books, articles, treatises, and novels from the 1500s on down to the present day.
In that long ago time, I had only to contend with academic journals and library holdings. Now there’s The Internet, which provides a whole other world-stage for untrustworthy writers and bloggers who do sloppy or selective research on Richard III, slap down some sentences, upload them to their blog, and want to call it Case Closed. I learned that even if someone considers themselves an historian – armchair or otherwise – they often write with personal prejudice. A few of these writers are mean and nasty, grow bully-fangs, and sharpen their teeth on those who don’t agree with them.
It would go so much better for these people if they could frame a proper argument, but most of them can’t. Come to that, most don’t even quote their sources. Perhaps they can’t be bothered. Perhaps they don’t know how to use citations. Perhaps they’re happy to shout their position over and over – as if they do it often and long enough, their selective stance will become The Absolute Truth – in blog post after blog post. Perhaps they’re just happy hiding behind a computer and thwack anyone who challenges what they say.
Silly bloggers. There are no Absolute Truths when it comes to history. Any history, not just Richard’s. The fun is in the debate, but some people don’t know how to have fun, except by bullying others.
Before Shooting Yourself in the Pre-Contract Foot, You May Want to Do Your Research
If you’re wise, you’ll stop reading this article and go read Annette Carson’s blog post entitled, “Proof … evidence … report … gossip … rumour,” and then get thee a copy of her Richard III: The Maligned King.
Remember how I said above that there are historians and other writers whose research and conclusions you can trust when it comes to Richard III? You can trust Annette Carson. Why? Because she’s a respected professional who lives up to her own words:
I always urge interested enquirers to research for themselves and not take my word for anything. My book Richard III: The Maligned King makes a serious effort to enumerate and summarize as many relevant sources as possible so that readers may consult them and reach their own conclusions.
Another blog post to examine regarding proof vs. evidence of the goings-on in the spring of 1483 and how to frame a proper argument regarding same is Matthew Lewis’s “Evidence, Evidence, Evidence.”
If you’re still with me (oh, Foolish Mortal), then onward we go, to beat a very dead horse called “The Pre-contracted Marriage of Edward IV.”
I’ve written about this before, and recently. I’d like to go on to other things, like researching the structure of the Prince’s Tower at Middleham Castle, because I can’t figure out its three- or four-story layout. Or investigating Richard’s shoe size since his skeleton doesn’t have feet. Or holding a séance to ask him whether he’s had enough of everyone discussing him. But noooo, I seem to be stuck endlessly discussing the stupid marriage Edward contracted with Eleanor Talbot-Butler because a Certain Blogger With a Mean Reputation is making a great many people roll their eyes in exasperation because of her inability to frame a decent argument or engage in an honest debate when it comes to this subject.
I present the following points for your consideration when you want to frame a valid argument regarding Edward’s prior marriage.
Do your medieval and renaissance research. This includes knowing who said what and when regarding the pre-contract; thoroughly acquainting yourself with the medieval Church canon law directing marriages and impediments to same; knowing the clerical members of Edward V’s council; and knowing the members of Richard III’s Parliament.
All of this so you can intelligently weigh and argue your points regarding:
Yes, that’s a lot. You want your position and your arguments to be taken seriously? Then do the footwork and pay your dues. Take the time to learn what you need to know to frame a decent argument, and don’t take someone else’s bloggy or published word for it. And please, I beg you, cite your sources like you were taught to do when you wrote your first term paper at the age of twelve.
Realize there is a difference in genres: writing about history is not the same as writing an historical or fantasy novel
If you are writing fiction, you can change historical facts as you go along. If you do so, you are writing a subgenre of historical or fantasy fiction known as alternate universe or alternate history.
If you are writing about actual historical fact, medieval canon law is not open to your changes. Nor is it open to your interpretation. Medieval canon law existed for over four hundred years, and its tenets are clear. Its requirements for the dissolution of marriages and the declaration of bastards is written in stone. No one’s opinion can alter these facts. If you want to alter the facts, invent your own world and write a fantasy novel. Your world, your rules. Medieval world, medieval rules.
If you cared to research medieval law and Lady Eleanor Butler-Talbot, you’d learn that the woman conducted herself legally like a wife and not a widow long after the death of her first husband because a widow was free to make a will, but a wife was not unless she had her husband’s permission. And so it was that only a few weeks before her death, Eleanor did not will her lands to her sister Elizabeth, but deeded them outright to her. As for those who might have known about Eleanor’s marriage to Edward IV, Eleanor’s father, John Talbot, died in 1453, so he didn’t know about the marriage. Her mother Margaret, Countess of Shrewsbury, did not die until 1468, so she may or may not have known about Edward’s marrying her daughter. But you can be sure that other members of her family were alive and well, and they likely knew that she had a second husband, however secret that husband wished to be. There may also have been land in Wiltshire bestowed from Edward IV to Eleanor.[i]
You could posit that Edward IV conducted himself as a bigamous husband three years after his marriage to Eleanor. How’s that? Consider:
Stillington was said by one chronicler to have conducted the marriage between Eleanor Butler and Edward IV. Which chronicler? It shouldn’t be hard for you to find out, if you want to. I’ll give you a hint: it wasn’t More, the Croyland Chronicle, or Mancini. I’ll also leave it to you to find out why an eye witness to an event was valid evidence to a 15th-century court or king’s council. Again, you’ll need to know such things if you want to frame a valid argument regarding such things.
Saying Bishop Robert Stillington was no one of consequence does not make it so.
Men of no consequence do not become Keeper of the Privy Seal for seven years, nor serve twice as Lord Chancellor. Men of no consequence could not and did not influence the Three Estates.
The Three Estates, which included several bishops and archbishops, at the very least decided in the spring 1483 that the allegation of bigamy against Edward IV matched what they knew of the king’s character and behavior. To suggest that Stillington adduced[ii] no evidence is wishful thinking, a deliberate attempt to mislead your reader, or a desperate act of denial. There was evidence, it was recorded at the time, and the conclusions drawn by the Three Estates are clearly outlined in the Act of Settlement (commonly known as Titulus Regius), recorded and still preserved in the original sewn parchment roll of Richard III’s Parliament of January 1484.
The fact that Edward V’s council records are missing do not negate their original existence, just as the fact that many town, city, county and other royal records are missing do not negate their original existence. Medieval England’s archives were not like the Library of Congress which has the wisdom to vault their original materials far underground in a dry, temperature-controlled environment, safe from mildew, insects, and fire. You also seem ignorant of the fact a 16th-century fire in Westminster took out a great many medieval records.
The only reason we have one of Richard’s expense books is because someone had removed it from the Westminster archive and had it in his possession when the fire occurred. It does not logically follow that the reason we have only one of Richard’s expense books is because there weren’t any others, just as it does not logically follow that the reason we do not have the records of Edward V’s council meetings is because there weren’t any. Edward’s records and Richard III’s records aren’t the only ones missing. Some may have been deliberately destroyed, others may have been victims of time, mould, fire, or whatever else fate came up with.
We work with what is left, and we frame possibilities and probabilities. If we’re wise, we do not frame absolutes because that is not possible. Even if you choose a side, the fun is in the ongoing debate…if you let it be.
Richard, His Spies and His Minions Must Have Worked Round the Clock
Have you any idea of the logistical burden and collateral deceivers you created when you suggested out of your imagination that Richard came up with a ‘false bride’ for Edward IV?
In only a few days in the spring of 1483, with less than three weeks to go before Edward V’s coronation and while managing to govern England as Protector of the Realm through endless meetings, dictating drafts of documents and correspondence, reviewing and changing documents, reviewing and signing final versions of documents, and other sundry responsibilities and claims on Richard’s time that none of us can begin to imagine, the Duke of Gloucester would have had to:
The possibility of the truth leaking out in such a scenario is obvious. Also, Richard was a child when Edward married Eleanor Butler-Talbot, so it’s doubtful that adult Richard could make a list on his own of likely candidates from 20+ years past. At the beginning of his scheme, he’d have to ask someone to recommend suitable imaginary brides – alive or dead. He’d then have to contact her and/or her family and make the necessary arrangements – promises delivered like a villain in a Disney musical for a scheme that might or might not work with the Three Estates:
I know it sounds sordid, but you’ll be rewarded
When at last I am given my dues,
And in justice deliciously squared…
So prepare for the coup of the century,
Prepare for the murkiest scam.
Meticulous planning, tenacity spanning,
Decades of denial is simply why I’ll
Be king undisputed respected, saluted,
And seen for the wonder I am.[iii]
More than a few people would know of the matter. Others would have been asked to commit perjury, and for what? No evident or sure reward from a royal duke who’d spent the last twelve years in the North, and at great risk to themselves, their families, their present and future security?
Why Seek to Become King When You Were Already Going to Be Given the Quasi-Regency of England?
Annette Carson points out that Richard’s appointment as Protector and Defender of the Realm was not meant to end with the coronation of Edward V on 22 June. The king’s council had assigned John Russell (Bishop of Lincoln and Lord Chancellor, and no admirer of Richard), to draft a sermon to be presented at the opening of Edward V’s Parliament on 25 June. This 14-page sermon makes it clear that the king’s council wanted Richard to not only continue defending the realm, but also to take over the teaching and oversight of the boy-king until he reached his majority. Richard’s Protectorship was to be extended, in Carson’s words, to “take on the nature of a quasi-regency.”[iv]
There isn’t space here to reiterate all that Carson has researched and revealed about protectorships and regencies, and not just Richard’s. You would do well to consult her work – all of her work – before framing any future rebuttals.
What Did Stillington Gain from Speaking Out?
The French diplomat Philippe de Commines never met Richard or Stillington, and de Commines is the one who says Stillington brought the pre-contract to Richard’s attention.
This man had served both Henry VI and Edward IV as Lord Chancellor for a great many years. When Stillington came forward, he was effectively retired on a very comfortable pension. Did he obtain additional goodies from Richard for his trouble? One would think so.
That would be a no. There is no evidence that Richard rewarded Stillington in any way.
Mocking an Historian’s Sexual Orientation is Not a Valid Premise
Arguing canon law by directing homophobic jokes and cartoons at an acknowledged and honored historical expert is no argument at all. It only reflects badly upon your own character.
What About that Professor of Mine Who Adored Elizabeth I?
My professor was so enamored of The Virgin Queen, his office seemed a shrine to her. She looked down from her lofty poster when I, a baby-researcher when it came to Richard III, submitted my paper to my professor.
“Do you think he did it?” I asked.
That was all my professor said, and he was kind enough to give me an “A” on the paper. He could have sneered at my arguments, shafted my conclusions, and sent me back to researching until I agreed with him. But he was a professional who managed to respect even the opinions of lowly undergraduates.
I like professionals. They’re the ones who teach you not to take anybody’s word for anything. They teach you to go and see for yourself, to make up your own mind, and not simply regurgitate what you’ve heard before or read on badly written blogs.
[i] A good place to begin researching Edwards possible grant(s) to Eleanor are two works by John Ashdown-Hill. The first is a book he wrote called Eleanor the Secret Queen: The Woman Who Put Richard III on the Throne. Pages 91-94 specifically deal with Edwards grants to Eleanor. The second is paper Ashdown-Hill wrote called, “Lady Eleanor Talbot: New Evidence; New Answers; New Questions,” which can be found on the Richard III Society page here:
or downloaded direct by copying the following URL into your browser:
[ii] Please note the deliberate use of the word adduced. The verb means to bring forward in argument or as evidence; to cite as pertinent or conclusive.
[iii] “Be Prepared,” from The Lion King. Lyrics by Tim Rice.
[iv] Carson, Annette. Richard, Duke of Gloucester as Lord Protector and High Constable of England, Imprimis Imprimatur, Horstead, 2015. Discussion regarding the contents of Russell’s planned sermon and the council’s planned quasi-regency for Richard is on pages 57-60. The sermon draft is on pages 101-106. The entire volume is invaluable.
Yesterday, Friday 23 January *, is the 531st anniversary of the first sitting of Richard III’s Parliament. It lasted for four weeks and transacted various business, including a codification of the petitition that asked him to become King as “Titulus Regius”. Interestingly, it is only three days from the anniversary of the first (or second) English Parliament, formed by Simon de Montfort,the rebel Earl of Leicester, at Westminster. de Montfort was killed at the battle of Evesham soon afterwards.
* We are fortunate that early 2015 follows early 1484 exactly although the latter was a leap year.