Thursday, August 22, 2019

The Death of Richard III

From Medievalists:
On 22 August 1485 Richard III, the last Plantagenet king of England was killed at the Battle of Bosworth. Exactly how and who carried out the killing remains shrouded in mystery. Having seen his battle line collapsing under the French flank attack, Richard charged Henry Tudor and his bodyguard. He immediately killed William Brandon, Henry’s standard bearer. The standard crashed to the ground only to be picked up, according to Welsh tradition, by Rhys ap Maredudd (Rhys Fawr).

Henry must have been close, because we are told by Vergil that next in Richard’s path was the 6 foot 8 inch John Cheyney. with great force drove him to the ground. Vergil tells us that at this moment ‘Henry abode the brunt longer than ever his owne soldiers wold have wenyd, who wer now almost owt of hope of victory.’ Holinshed says that Richard was no more than a sword point away from Henry, and Michael Drayton in his poem says they were ‘scarce a lance length’ apart. Victory was now within Richard’s grasp. (Read more.)

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