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Who’s on trial? The real Richard, or the Bard’s horrible caricature…?

Lady Justice Hallett.png

NB: Since posting this article, the trial and verdict have taken place, and according to The Times, Richard was innocent! See: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/richard-iii-cleared-of-murder-on-a-hunch-xtkhlr5qn

Well, with all the hype about this upcoming “trial” of Richard III, I become more confused. Just which Richard is going to be in the dock? The real one? Or the monster created by the Bard? If it’s the latter, I fail to see how any other verdict than “guilty” can be brought in. After all, the Bard’s version commits his crimes on stage! And brags about them. Lady Justice Hallett will surely be reaching for the black cap even as she sums up.

So, dare I hope that this is going to be a sensible court case? With actual facts being allowed, instead of being shovelled aside by Shakespeare’s inky JCB?

PS: As a matter of interest to followers of Ricardian fiction, the actor who is to play Buckingham in the trial is David Oakes, who played Clarence in The White Queen.

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The Bard’s version of Richard to go on trial….

hugh_dennis

Well, if Shakespeare’s Richard is to go on trial, I can’t imagine there’ll be any other verdict than guilty! Unless the jury’s been got at. But if it were to be the real Richard…a different matter entirely. Innocent!

 

 

 

 

Richard’s latest court trial….

richards-latest-trial

Richard has been put on trial again, and found not guilty. I tell you the verdict of the latest trial in case you lose the will to live before finally emerging from the intensely intrusive advertisements that always ruin the Leicester Mercury website. The article itself IS there, and an account of the trial.  Just stick at it.

Oh, and Richard is a little middle-aged, but we have to get past that sort of thing.

http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/8203-richard-iii-trial-in-leicester-set-to-answer-600-year-old-medieval-mystery-8211-live-updates/story-29863423-detail/story.html

In other words, he was acquitted again despite:
Only being five or six when the trial began.
Being dead before it finished. More being allowed to testify without a head – and not mentioning the “energetic priest” moving the bodies.
Only the “balance of probabilities” being required to decide the case.

Debunking the Myths – Richard III’s Execution of a Political Lampoonist

Richard III’s Execution of Collingbourne. A new take.

RICARDIAN LOONS

Ripon Cathedral misericord “And in another isle toward the south dwell folk of foul stature and of cursed kind that have no heads. And their eyes be in their shoulders.” – Sir John Mandeville (14th c.)

It’s funny how myths and legends become a part of history. This column – Debunking the Myths – is devoted to exploring the many false rumors, tales, and impressions that have embedded themselves into our modern perception of Richard III and his times.  Join us, as we hunt down the Loch Ness monsters, Sasquatches, and Blemyae that have roamed the Ricardian historical landscape for centuries.  No need to bring a weapon.  Just bring an open mind!

Today’s blog is about the infamous lampoon posted on the doors of London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral in July 1484, during the second year of Richard III’s reign.  Even the casual reader of Ricardian history can recite it from memory:

“The Cat…

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Review of ‘The “Princes” in the Tower’ (Channel 4)

There were many good things about this programme. Dr. Janina Ramirez joined Dr. John Ashdown-Hill and the lawyer Bertram Fields. All three have studied the late medieval period in detail and in different ways.

Then there was Dr. David Starkey. He is a renowned expert on the 1509-1603 period but tends to derive his views on earlier monarchs such as Richard III from his admiration for the second and the last “Tudor” monarchs. Two years ago, in a BBC2 (“Tudor” Court season) discussion on Anne Boleyn, he totally “owned” Alison Weir, his only adversary. Here, however, he treated More (a joke in historical terms) as a Fifth Gospel although More was only five in 1483.

He described Lord Hastings as not having had a trial, although logic and evidence make this highly unlikely, and freely deduced from this false conclusion. He relied on More’s post hoc ergo propter hoc assumption of Richard’s past conduct being part of some Masterplan, although Ramirez and Ashdown-Hill were of the opposite view. They raised the importance of Edward IV’s bigamy, which he didn’t. He also spoke of Tyrrell’s “confession”, although we now know, thanks to Susan Leas (quoted in https://murreyandblue.wordpress.com/2014/07/16/perkin-again/) that this post-dates not merely Tyrrell’s life but that of Henry VII because the latter never referred to it in the (nearly) seven years by which he survived Tyrrell. Dr. Ashdown-Hill was able to mention that the illegitimacy of Edward V and his brother gave Richard a much reduced motive for disposing of them.

Many of you will have read Annette Carson’s “Maligned King”, particularly the chapters on Richard’s conduct in April-June 1483 before Stillington’s bombshell interrupts the plans to crown Edward V, removing all sources and then putting them back in chronological order. This was criticised in some denialist quarters, only for Dr. Josephine Wilkinson to carry out the same exercise with identical results.

Dr. Starkey, should limit his appearances a little more to his area of expertise – the “Tudors” – and preserve his reputation from the damage it suffered in the 1984 “Trial”. This era in particular looks to be in good hands among the younger generation, free of preconceptions as they are, however,

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