11 February 2013 ~ 0 Comments

King Richard rides again

Where would we be if King Richard had won? What would Britain be like today if Richard III had won the battle of Bosworth and the country had not fallen to his cousin Henry Tudor? After all, Richard at 33, was in his prime – who knows what good he might have gone on to achieve, had his crown not been toppled. He had already decreed laws to help the poor in the North. (The poor tended to be in the North at that time, apparently) If Richard of York had not Done Battle In Vain, we would not have had a phrase to remember all the colours of the rainbow … we may also be experiencing a different type of Britain. Of course, we will never know. But the discovery of his Royal bones in their resting place under a Leicester car park has brought him, his works and reputation, into the limelight. The popping-up of the last of the Plantaganet Kings seems timely in 2013, when most good people of the realm are wondering where Britain is headed regarding social welfare/alms for the poor. Richard was known for his cleverness and fairness as well as his bravery. For most of his life, until he hit 30, he had been regarded as a paragon of virtue and a brilliant general. The seeds of Richard’s downfall were sown in his decision to usurp the throne from his 12-year-old nephew Edward V, who, together with his brother, were seen less and less until rumours of their death, as in The Princes in The Tower tale. By September 1483, their fate was clear. There was never any proof, but they had certainly gone missing under Richard’s watch. In these rough tough times, Richard remained a much-loved and popular king. Thomas Langton, wrote that Richard “contents the people” and “many a poor man” being “relieved and helped by him and his commands”. Langton added. “God hath sent him to us for the weal of us all.” I like that idea. A very clever leader, with fairness and the needs of the common people at heart. These days it is the leaders of governments who make all the rules, but back then, the King was the boss. Years after his death, Richard III got a bad press by Shakespeare, but then the Bard was ruled closely by Elizabeth TUDOR, so he could hardly have painted his queen’s enemy as otherwise. He unfairly linked Richard’s twisted spine to a twisted character.. Hopefully his body’s unearthing will prompt further digging into Richard III’s true nature and maybe we may learn something about ourselves in the process.

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