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Richard III
October 26, 2014
10:08 am
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Hannele
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Bob the Builder said now personally i think he lost Bosworth by bad luck, not a lack of skill or a mighty opponant, but because his horse got stuck in a bog – which is a pretty rubbish reason to lose a battle – but that doesn’t stop the hard numbers looking less than brilliant. had his horse found firmer ground for another ten yards we might remember Bosworth as the last gasp of a nobody Lancastrian who’se name would only come up in pub quizes, but thats not how it ended…

One must remember that Richard chose to gamble with all or nothing by making an attack with a small number of retainers towards Henry Tudor which was very unusual. Even if he had lost the battle, he could have fled and collect a new army, as his brother Edward did.

Also, Richard could before the campaign have done as Henry VII did later: to imprison those he judged not loyal.

October 26, 2014
10:33 am
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Hannele
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The role of outer circumstances and even chance is great in the way we see Richard. If Edward IV had lived longer and was succeeded by his son of full age, Richard would be remembered of his loyalty towards his brother and as a good governor of the North. (Of course, one cannot say what kind of relations Edward V would have had with his cousin Edward, Richard’s son.)

Also, it is remarkable that the Yorkist cause that seemed so strong could collapse so easily, not because of the strength of Henry Tudor but because of the internal rivalries. So the basic question should be why Elizabeth Woodville and Richard could not work together? What was the real cause that Richard seized Edward V enroute to London? Was Richard right fearing that Elizabeth and Woodvilles wanted to crown the King and reign in his name instead of letting him to be Protector as Edward IV had wanted? Or was Elizabeth right that Richard could not be trusted? Or were both fears not real but they became real when both acted out of their fear towards another?

In any case, after Richard had killed Elizabeth’s relatives, he had real cause to fear that, after Edward V who loved well his mother’s kin who had raised him became of age, he should have the same fate as the Protectors before.

October 26, 2014
9:52 pm
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Bob the Builder
Ludlow
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just too much bad blood on both sides?

did Richard blame the Woodvilles for the estrangement of York and Neville, and then the death of the two Neville brothers? did Elizabeth transfer blame belonging to Edward IV to Richard for the lack of punishment of Richard Neville after the execution of her Father and Brother? did Richard blame Elizabeth for the death of George, Duke of Clarence, however deserved his execution was?

if you look at the whole story it seems as if every event was designed from the outset to stoke the flames of internal conflict, mistrust upon mistrust, with each side thinking the other hostile enough, and powerful enough, to utterly defeat them at the first opportunity – making getting the first strike in a matter of survival.

the person who gets left out of these debates is the one who shoulders the blame – Edward IV. he created implacibly hostile factions, and placed absolutes of power in the hands of those factions, and waited until his deathbed to try and reconcile these factions. he also, lets be frank, taught Richard that it was acceptable to kill an innocent, child-like King if it meant forstalling endless civil war..

October 26, 2014
11:11 pm
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Olga
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Edward IV did not create all of the rival factions in England, that had been going on for years. The first thing Henry VII did was to begin to suppress the powers of the nobility over the king, which was the first thing he should have done. Bosworth wasn’t lost only because of a charge or a horse stuck in the mud, there were peers who did not answer Richard’s call of arms, and there were peers who did not participate, and then Stanley (unsurprisingly) turned against him mid-battle. How many kings had been deposed and murdered, let alone members of the nobility set up by their rivals?

Richard III and Elizabeth Woodville were not the ones who could not work together. As a matter of fact they showed later they could work together quite well, after he completely humbled himself to swear a public oath to protect her daughters and she wrote to her son to leave Henry Tudor. It was the division in the council over the Woodvilles and the delegation of power which probably led to Edward V being deposed. Anthony Woodville and Richard had co-existed perfectly cordially for years, they were in exile together, they were on the council together, there is evidence Anthony had deferred to Richard and asked him to intervene on a matter the month before he was captured, and there is not one mention of any difficulties between Richard and any of his brothers’ in-laws.

November 2, 2014
2:51 pm
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Jasmine
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Hannele said

<
One must remember that Richard chose to gamble with all or nothing by making an attack with a small number of retainers towards Henry Tudor which was very unusual. Even if he had lost the battle, he could have fled and collect a new army, as his brother Edward did.

Also, Richard could before the campaign have done as Henry VII did later: to imprison those he judged not loyal.

You have to remember that Richard had been particularly successful in the north of England in turning previously Lancastrian supporting towns like York into Yorkist supporters. He had a track record of sorting out difficult issues. I guess he thought that he could do the same as King. However, he had had 12 years dealing with the north of England, and just over 2 years as king. He ran out of time to create a southern affinity as loyal as his northern one.

The tactic of a charge with his household knights was an established tactic and would have been discussed beforehand. It would not be possible to simply decide to charge with no prior warning – someone had to know how to assemble the knights etc. If it had been successful, it would have decapitated the enemy army and the battle would have stopped. He came close – killing Henry’s standard-bearer who would have been next to Henry, as well as unhorsing Sir John Cheney – but the bog was in the way.

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