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Author Topic: Richard III--Villain or Victim?  (Read 4254 times)

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Offline BLAKDUKE

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Re: Richard III--Villain or Victim?
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2011, 02:29:39 PM »
I for one have no problem with the princes not being seen after 1483.  People have been kept in the tower for longer than that without being seen.   Richard could have construed that "out of sight is out of mind" and that keeping them hidden woul at least disuad any attempt at treasonous action trying to place either of them on the throne.  My money is still on Henry VII, he had the most to gain and/or lose if the princes were alive or dead.  Again as was said 'it was not so much what was said, rumored, done and/or known, but what was not.  No mention made of the murder of the princes when Richard was atainted traitor , the fact that they had a better claim to the throne than he, declaring the children being legitemized so he could marry Edward IV daughter, that alone would have paved the way for influential people at the time to try and place them on the throne, however Henry could legitimize the children safely because he knew the boys were dead.   Lastly if they were dead, why would Henry not announce the fact in order to solidify his claim to usurping the throne(as he did in fact do).  It all comes down to Henry had to kill them because that was the only way he could keep the crown solidly on his head.
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Offline DonaCatalina

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Re: Richard III--Villain or Victim?
« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2011, 04:19:51 PM »
How about we agree to disagree amicably?  :-*

Some of Richard's contemporaries had the opinion that Richard started the rumour of the princes' killings in order to dishearten any of the nobles who looked to put Prince Edward on the throne immediately. In reality, unless some lost and fogotten bit of evidence comes to light, most of us will have to go with our own opinions of the evidence we do have.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2011, 04:22:37 PM by DonaCatalina »
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Offline Mikestone

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Re: Richard III--Villain or Victim?
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2011, 04:08:14 AM »
How about we agree to disagree amicably?  :-*

Some of Richard's contemporaries had the opinion that Richard started the rumour of the princes' killings in order to dishearten any of the nobles who looked to put Prince Edward on the throne immediately. In reality, unless some lost and fogotten bit of evidence comes to light, most of us will have to go with our own opinions of the evidence we do have.

All we can know for certain is that by late 1483 a lot of important people were acting as though the Princes were dead.

The rebels of 1483 were predominantly Yorkists, including former members of Edward IV's household, yet they declared for the Lancastrian Pretender, Henry Tudor. Why, if Edward's sons were still alive? Their action makes sense only if they believed the Princes were dead, and that the rightful heir (or rather heiress) of York was Henry's intended bride. And the fact that they marched for Henry against Richard, not vice versa, would seem a reasonable guide to their opinion as to whodunit.

At Christmas 1483 Henry Tudor publicly declared his intent to marry Elizabeth of York. Again, a totally pointless act if her brothers were still thought to be alive, since they, and not she, would be the focus of loyalty for Richard's Yorkist opponents. Also, if the Princes lived, then Richard could at any time prick Tudor's bubble by producing them. Clearly, by December 1483 Henry was confident that Richard would be unable to do so.

In January 1484, French Chancellor Guillaume de Rochefort delivered a patriotic harangue to the States-General, contrasting the care which the civilised French were lavishing on their twelve-year-old King, by contrast with that tribe of savages across La Manche, who had not only stood idly by while their child king was dethroned and murdered, but had compounded their perfidy by conferring the crown on the assassin. No doubt Rochefort had his own axe to grind, but the speech would have fallen rather flat had not his audience believed this, or something along those lines, to have really happened.

OK, I suppose it's theoretically possible that all these contemporaries could have some how "got it wrong", but there seems no particular reason to assume so. At the very least, it's surely enough to put the onus of proof onto anyone who claims that the Princes survived the year 1483. If someone other than Richard (Buckingham?) did it, he almost certainly has to have done it in the first six months or so of Richard's reign.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2011, 08:38:20 AM by Mikestone »

Offline Mikestone

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Re: Richard III--Villain or Victim?
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2011, 04:16:55 AM »
Had the Stanleys remained loyal there would have been no Tudor dynasty.  They cut Richard down when he was within yards of Henry on the battle field.

But why did the Stanleys matter so much?

They didn't suddenly appear on the scene during Richard's reign, but had been important figures for the past twenty years - right through Edward IV's. As far as we know, they never even tried to overthrow Edward, and certainly never came anywhere near doing so. What exactly was different in 1485? Why was Richard unable to hold their loyalty, as his brother had, and in any case how did they come to occupy such a crucial position, which they never did before?
« Last Edit: July 12, 2011, 04:18:20 AM by Mikestone »

Offline DonaCatalina

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Re: Richard III--Villain or Victim?
« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2012, 06:24:27 AM »
I'm re-reading every scrap I can find on Richard III.
One thing I discovered was that in all the records of Sir James Tyrell's arrest and imprisonment; there is no record of his confession. Henry Tudor should have published this confession to the murder of the princes if it existed.
But if the confession was fabricated whole cloth; who else could have told Thomas More where the bodies were buried and actually found many years later.
The most likely suspect is Henry VII who described the scene to Thomas More when he commisioned the book.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 05:18:34 AM by DonaCatalina »
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Offline DonaCatalina

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Re: Richard III--Villain or Victim?
« Reply #20 on: February 06, 2013, 05:21:26 AM »
Or as I'm beginning to think, Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham did the deed and Richard could not denounce him because he had so few supporters as it was.
But when Buckingham defected to Henry Tudor, he spilled the beans. But Henry Tudor could never come out and denounce Buckingham because his claim to the throne relied on Richard being a murderer and usurper.
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Offline Norfolk

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Re: Richard III--Villain or Victim?
« Reply #21 on: February 06, 2013, 11:09:45 AM »
Very interesting discussion.  I am impressed with the detailed knowledge of that period demonstrated by many of you.

As for myself, I consider Richard III the most likely suspect.  I give the following reasons:
1.  There were no reported sightings on the princes after the summer of 1483, two years before Henry Tudor appears on the scene.
2.  Richard had the motive for the murders; the princes posed a direct threat to his crown.
3.  By the autumn of 1483, rumors began to circulate regarding the fate of the princes, much to Richard's detriment.  Nonetheless, he made no effort to have them appear in public.
4.  Richard launched no investigation into the disappearance of the princes.
5.  Thomas More was a lawyer, but he was not a liar.  His account of the murders, which has Sir James Tyrrell committing the murders as the agent of Richard III, rings true to me.
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Offline DonaCatalina

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Re: Richard III--Villain or Victim?
« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2013, 04:56:37 AM »
Yes Norfolk, the confession rings true, especially since bodies were discovered in the exact location More described. But if Henry VII had such a confession, why was the actual signed copy never made public? Thomas More as a lawyer should know the legal value of a hearsay testimony.
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Offline Norfolk

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Re: Richard III--Villain or Victim?
« Reply #23 on: February 07, 2013, 09:42:38 AM »
Yes Norfolk, the confession rings true, especially since bodies were discovered in the exact location More described. But if Henry VII had such a confession, why was the actual signed copy never made public? Thomas More as a lawyer should know the legal value of a hearsay testimony.

Why did Sir Thomas More not submit a signed confession in evidence?  It is something a good defense attorney would certainly hang his hat on should Sir James have been brought to trial under 21st century legal procedures.  However, in the 16th century, as you are undoubtedly aware, there was no such thing as a defense attorney.  Hence, Sir Thomas may have thought such evidence surperfluous. 
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Offline BLAKDUKE

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Re: Richard III--Villain or Victim?
« Reply #24 on: February 07, 2013, 12:15:56 PM »
Norfolk:

"Richard had the motive for the murders; the princes posed a direct threat to his crown."

M'lord  Not really.  The reason for his taking the throne was thru declaring the princes illegitimate due to the pre-contract to another woman of his brother, whom he never married.  This pre-contract was recognized by all as almost as binding as an actual marriage.  As a result of this the princes could not inherit the throne.  They were no direct threat to Richard unless someone could get parliament to reverse, their status as Henry VII did in order to marry Edward IV daughter Elizabeth.  When he did that he legitimized the 2 princes,who now had a better claim to the throne than he did, ergo Henry had to get rid of them.    My money is still on Henry VII.

Also one other point, if anyone should actually read any of the hogwash of The "sainted ????  More"
one will immediately realize that ALL of his scribblings are 2nd and even 3rd hand.  None of it is anywhere near 1st hand.  He was 5/6 years old when Richard was murdered at Bosworth field.  He was Henry VIII personal historian.  He can hardly be expected to write anything even remotely close to the truth about an adversary of the Tudor household.  So let's eliminate anything written by More.
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Offline Norfolk

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Re: Richard III--Villain or Victim?
« Reply #25 on: February 08, 2013, 09:38:45 AM »
Blakduke,

Your points are well taken, but I think you underestimate the danger the powerful Woodville family, not just the princes, posed to Richard.  I quote professor G.J. Meyer, writing in his epic volume "The Tudors":  "Duke Richard, it is clear, saw the situation as fraught with danger for himself... the duke need not have been paranoid to fear that if the Woodvilles could maintain custody of young Edward V -- hardly an improbable development, considering that the child's mother was the most prominent Woodville of them all -- they could also control the government and destroy their rivals.  Whatever his motives, whether he was driven by ambition, hatred or fear, Richard struck first, setting in motion a series of atrocities that would not end until eight of the last ten legitimate Plantagenet males, five of them boys too young to marry had died violently."  He goes on with further details which those interested can read for themselves.

Thus, even though a legal technicality stood between Edward's eldest son and the throne, Richard obviously took scant comfort therefrom.
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Offline BLAKDUKE

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Re: Richard III--Villain or Victim?
« Reply #26 on: February 08, 2013, 04:08:30 PM »
" the duke need not have been paranoid to fear that if the Woodvilles could maintain custody of young Edward V -- hardly an improbable development, considering that the child's mother was the most prominent Woodville of them all -- they could also control the government and destroy their rivals.

 If true then consider the following.   One of the princes was in the tower already whilst mama was safely in the church with her second son under sanctuary. Her thinking was that if Edward died the younger son would be the heir and would be safe.  So if Richard was so evil, cunning and dangerous why would she willingly release her second son from the apparent safety of the church and send him to certain demise?




  Whatever his motives, whether he was driven by ambition, hatred or fear, Richard struck first, setting in motion a series of atrocities that would not end until eight of the last ten legitimate Plantagenet males, five of them boys too young to marry had died violently."

I can think of only 3 that Richard could be possibly responsible for, the two princes,and his brother Clarence.  The rest from what I can search for, all died in infancy and mostly of plague.   



As to G.J.Meyers  I have never heard of him or his writings.  However if he is writing about the Tudors, it has been my experience that most, writing about the Tudors, are slanted away from the Plantagenets, especially before Bosworth.  For a concise book on Richard III  try Kendall.   To a degree it is somewhat dull, mainly due to the fact that it relies on the historical records of the times, with particular emphasis on his tenure as the Duke of York and his ruling of the north country whilst his brother Edward IV was king.  It goes into the depth of his loyalty to his brother, and his character.  From these you can gather a lot.  Now I will say that my opinion is definitly pro Richard(was it something I said), but that does not totally absolve him(outside of enearthing a signed diary by someone else, admitting to the deed), I don't think anything will.  He is still a suspect,  but there are others that should bear more scrutiny and those others have far more evidence than R III.

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Offline Norfolk

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Re: Richard III--Villain or Victim?
« Reply #27 on: February 08, 2013, 10:27:51 PM »
I have no answers for your questions, but then neither do the historians who have been debating this issue for centuries.  What I do know is that the mystery is unlikely to be solved on this forum.
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Offline BLAKDUKE

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Re: Richard III--Villain or Victim?
« Reply #28 on: February 09, 2013, 08:29:53 AM »
Norfolk:

You are absolutely correct on that.  I would that this discussion took place in a pub around a roaring fireplace.  The end result would be no different as to the discussion, but we most likely would all be pleasantly in our cups.

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Offline Norfolk

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Re: Richard III--Villain or Victim?
« Reply #29 on: February 09, 2013, 09:37:02 AM »
Norfolk:

You are absolutely correct on that.  I would that this discussion took place in a pub around a roaring fireplace.  The end result would be no different as to the discussion, but we most likely would all be pleasantly in our cups.

The Blakduke

And you are obviously a man after my own heart!
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