In Memoriam: Good King Richard – betrayed, maligned, beloved

On this day in the year 1485, King Richard III died at the Battle of Bosworth, the last British Monarch to die in battle on English soil.

He was also the last king of the House of York and the last of the Plantagenet dynasty. His defeat at the Battle of Bosworth Field was the decisive battle of the Wars of the Roses and is sometimes regarded as the end of the Middle Ages in England.

However, I am more interested in the more recent activities of “The Fellowship of the White Boar”, which was founded in 1924 to undo what they saw as history’s tendency to malign the memory of the King. Specifically to redress the allegation that he instigated the notorious murder of the Two Princes in the Tower of London.

The society was reformed after WW2 as the Richard III Society, and for over a quarter of a century, the Society has placed a Memoriam Notice in the Daily Telegraph on the anniversary of his death.

Today’s reads: PLANTAGENET Richard. Remember forever our good King Richard III, who fell at Bosworth Field 22nd August 1485. Betrayed, maligned, beloved by many. RHJ, AJS.

You can find it on Page 32 of today’s Telegraph, on the same page as the Court Circular for the current Monarch, which seems amusingly apt.

It’s a young tradition being a mere 25(ish) years old, but all ancient traditions have to start at some point and I am not going to overlook this one just because it barely born as one of England’s great quirky traditions.

The Telegraph’s website has some of the older Memoriam notices as well.

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4 Comments

  1. frank Bath

    Years ago I knew an Oxford history grad and prospective MP who was very fierce in his defence of ‘Dicky Three Sticks’.

  2. Annette

    He may have been betrayed … but he did do it!
    Shakespeare may have over done his description … but he did do it.
    He had those two boys murdered in the tower.
    So rather than mourn his death … be grateful for the strength of the Tudor dynasty that followed!

  3. Faye

    @ Annette
    1. Yes.he was….no he didn’t
    2. Way overdone,,,,,no he didn’t
    3.NO HE DIDN’T….Henry VII did, to keep the throne, same reason why he married the princes’ sister Elizabeth.

    He was cruelly murdered and should be mourned. I can’t disagree with you about the strength of the Tudor dynasty though, and the Golden Age Britain had under them.

  4. Andrew

    What is known for certain is that Richard was the Protector of the Princes, had them under his control at the Tower of London from May 1483, they were not seen in public after mid 1483, and Richard also had many members of tgeir entourage – particularly relatives of their mother – executed. Rumours ghat the Princes were dead were in circulation by late 1483 which Richard could easily have refuted by producing the Princes; it is difficult to see why he did not at some point over the next two years if they were alive.

    We can’t know for certain, but it seems most likely that either Richard did it, or one of his followers did (either on express instruction or hoping for advancement). Either way, Richard is responsible.

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