(Current Project Summer 2013)
A summary of rebuttals to 10 of the most frequently asked questions on Richard & his life & reign…
- He had his nephews (the Princes) imprisoned in the Tower and then murdered in order to usurp the throne
- Rebuttal Project by Stephen Lark Allegation: His claim to the Crown was based on a falsehood (the Pre-Contract and illegitimacy of Edward IV’s children by EW) and therefore his reign had no legitimacy
- He was ruthless, flouted the Rule of Law, and was involved with the downfall of his political enemies, and even his brother, for his own personal, political and economic gain. Those victims include: Henry VI; Edward of Lancaster; George, Duke of Clarence; Hastings; Rivers; Vaughan; Colyngborne; and even his wife Anne. [This Topic includes the extra-judicial execution of Hastings.]
- His overt religious piety was either a smokescreen *or* was genuine but evidence of a guilty mind. His elaborate displays of religious piety and his excessive spending on chantries/shrines/priests further confirms he was guilty of heinous crimes. If genuine, then his religious piety was so rigid and cruel that he exacted terrible punishments, e.g., made Jane Shore to public penance. His lavish Christmas parties were debauched, and show a lack of genuine reverence and piety.
- His marriage to Anne Neville was an unhappy one, and only undertaken for personal economic benefit. When she became useless to him, he poisoned her, scorned her bed, and immediately starting looking for a new wife. He was actively negotiating for a new wife before she even died, further proof of his lack of feeling for her.
- He treated women, in particular, contemptuously and with bullying. He viewed them merely as objects for economic and/or personal benefit. He bullied Anne Neville into marrying him, and didn’t even bother to get proper dispensations. He spread rumors that his own mother Cecily slept with an archer, making Edward IV illegitimate. He abused his mother in law Anne Beauchamp by imprisoning her at Middleham. He extorted fines from Countess of Oxford, an old lady. He ignored the legitimate interests of young heiresses like the Harrington girls. He bullied Eliz Woodville to release her son from Sanctuary. He had 7 bastard children. He slept with under-aged women. He was a pedophile and serial “incestor”. He was had a sexual relationship with Elizabeth of York and was wanted to marry her.
- Unpopular by AJ Hibbard MD. His reign was chaotic, oppressive, and he was despised as a king. There were rebellions as soon as he took the throne. Bosworth is an example of how the people of England hated him (the commoners fled the field of battle, Northumberland didn’t engage, and Stanley betrayed him). He never controlled the South; his only power base was in York.
- Richard III’s Parliament & Laws by Susan Troxell. His so-called “enlightened” laws were not novel or meaningful to the people, as they were either already in place or had no real impact. They were solely used as a way to obtain the love of the people, since he had already lost support of key lords and Edward IV’s household men. He abolished benevolences but then re-instated them at his convenience. He was a hypocrite and did not really intend to live up to the announced goals of his Parliament.
- Richard as Military Commander by Max Rettalack. Allegation: He was incompetent and inexperienced as a soldier and military commander. He unnecessarily angered and alienated Stanley during defensive forays with the Scots. He never really commanded an army until Bosworth. Bosworth is proof that he was inferior to his brother Edward in being a military commander and strategist.
- Richard’s Affinity and Good Lordship as Duke of Gloucester 1468. By Susan Troxell Allegation: Richard was an ambitious man, hungry for power and ultimately aiming for the Crown. He kept his intentions close to the vest, but in retrospect it’s apparent that he was forming a formidable power base upon which to usurp the Throne and weaken traditional power magnates like the Stanleys and Percies. His infringement into these traditional regional hegemonies was meddlesome, divisive and ultimately the cause of his undoing as King.