2014 Conference

We are pleased to announce our 2014 annual conference “The Age of the Yorkists”.

Our 2013 tour of “The Battle of Bosworth: Tudor’s Perspective” was a hit with our patrons and regulars resulting in excellent reviews. However, due to the amount of people who signed up, we were unable to follow the exact route that Tudor would have brought his army.  This year we will be restricting our numbers to 14 so we don’t incur any restraints on weights from some of the local towns and villages.

Our 2014 route will be as follows:

October 10

12.00 Noon – Meet at the Tithe Barn at the Bosworth Heritage Center for welcome and brief introduction.

12.15 – Depart Centre and travel by minibus to Atherstone.

12.45 – Atherstone – Short walking tour of relevant locations in town

13.30 – Depart Atherstone, travel to Merevale Church and possibly view ruins of Abbey

14.15 – Depart Merevale and travel via ancient roads and villages towards Upton

14.45 – Identify route to site (Green Lane) reference Lindley Hall & Lord Herdwicke

15.15 – Follow route to Fenn Lane Farm and site of battle, from Tudor point

15.30 – Travel to Stoke Golding (Church – Crown Hill) then onto Dadlington

15.45 – Dadlington Church- view documents for chantry land purchase by Henry VIII

16.00 – Return to Visitor centre – Question & Answer session if required- Depart centre

October 11

Our conference will be held at the Dixie Grammar School in Market Bosworth. Registration forms will be emailed out in April, and for our patrons who do not have email, we will post them.

Our speakers and topics are as follows:

Professor Peregrine Hordon—Medicine and Health Care in the Age of the Yorkists.

Susan Troxell—Wherefore the White Boar? Yorkist Symbology and Heraldry”.

Philippa Langley— King Richard III:  The truth revealed.

Dr. Philip Morgan—Thud me in the hole as soon as I’m dead: Place of Burial in the Later Fifteenth Century.

Dr. David Hipshon—The Renaissance and the Yorkists.

Clive Montellier—Sending King Edward to Military Staff College

For a copy of our registration form, contact us at Richard3Foundation@aol.com.


Press Release

The Richard III Foundation, Inc. has welcomed the news that permission has been given for a Judicial Review to be brought concerning the final resting place of King Richard III.
JoeAnn Ricca, founder and Chief Executive of The Richard III Foundation, said: “The recent discovery of the remains of King Richard III was an unprecedented event. However, the arguments over where the last Plantagenet King should be buried seem to have overtaken the simple joy of the discovery and confirmation of his remains. The decision by Mr Justice Haddon-Cave to grant the Plantagenet Alliance the opportunity to have their case heard and properly examined in the High Court is one of great importance. To quote Mr Justice Haddon-Cave, ‘the archaeological dig of the mortal remains of a former King of England after 500 years is without precedent’.  We shall never again in our lifetime see another such momentous historical event as this, and careful consideration must be taken to ensure for justice for King Richard III.
“Mr Justice Haddon-Cave also said in his judgement that ‘it is plainly arguable that there is a duty at common law to consider widely as to how and where Richard III’s remains should appropriately be re-interred’. It is standard archaeological practice to bury any remains in the church nearest to where the remains are found, but this varies in certain special circumstances.  King Richard III was the last Plantagenet King, and the last English King to die in battle.  The Battle of Bosworth was of great importance and changed the course of history. The remains of the King of England belong to the nation and as such his final resting place is of immense importance to the people of England and her history and heritage.
“The Richard III Foundation, Inc. applauds the sensible and logical decision of Mr Justice Haddon Cave, and we look to a conclusion that will stop dividing the Ricardian and historical community, and provide justice for a King who has been much maligned.”
Andy Smith, UK director of the Foundation, added: “We were disappointed by the lack of consultation and what we believe was a hasty and ill-considered decision by the Government as to where King Richard III should be buried. Let there be a proper discussion among all interested parties. The Richard III Foundation has always had King Richard’s interests and wishes at heart.  We congratulate The Plantagenet Alliance for persevering with their campaign and for succeeding in securing this Judicial Review. With the return of the King’s mortal remains, let us all work together towards an amicable conclusion so he can be given justice at last and be buried with honour and dignity.”
Press contact: Andy Smith, tel 07737 271676
For further information on The Richard III Foundation, Inc., please visit the website www.richard111.com

2012 conference sponsored by The Richard III Foundation, Inc.

Save the Date!

                        The Richard III Foundation, Inc. presents Richard III: Monarch and Man


Friday, October 12, 2012

Join Foundation Patron Mike Ingram and Richard MacKinder at the Bosworth Battlefield Centre.  We will meet outside the Tithe Barn at 2 pm where we will take a walking tour of the key locations of the battle. The tour is expected to last an hour.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Our symposium will be held at theDixieGrammar Schoolin Market Bosworth.  Registration begins at 8:30.  The conference will begin at 9:00 am and will conclude at 5:00 pm.   Our speakers and topics are:

  • Dr. John Alban – “From Ashwellthorpe to Bosworth: a Yorkist Soldier”
  • Robert Hardy (contingent on schedule)
  • Dr. Craig Taylor—“Chivalry and the Wars of the Roses”
  • Steve Goodchild— “The Arrival: The Role of Richard, Duke of Gloucester at Tewkesbury”
  • Mike Ingram  – “The Road to Bosworth”
  • Mark Downing—”Military Effigies in the Yorkist Age”.
  • Dr. David Hipshon— “The Princes: Contemporary Assumptions”?
  • David Baldwin— “The Character of Richard III”
  • Special presentation of Peter Algar’s new publication – “Dead Man’s Hill”.


To obtain a copy of the registration form, contact Mrs. Dorothy Davies, The Richard III Foundation, Inc., 32 Church Lane, Ryde, Isle of Wight, PO33   2NBor email her at dorothy2583@gmail.com or email us at Richard3Foundation@yahoo.com.

Who Knew Richard III – Last Source


Sir Thomas More

Thomas More was born in London on February 7, 1478, the son of Sir John More, a prominent judge. His education took place at St Anthony School in London. In his youth he served as a page in the household of John Morton, Bishop of Ely who had served Edward IV while remaining at heart a Lancastrian, who predicted he would be a “marvellous man.” More’s studies took him to Oxford to study under Thomas Linacre and William Grocyn. While at Oxford, he studied Greek and Latin literature and wrote comedies.

Around 1494 More returned to London to study law, was admitted to Lincoln’s Inn in 1496, and became a barrister in 1501. However, More did not yet seem to have made the law his permanent career choice. He was undecided as to whether to follow a monastic calling or seek a position in the civil service. While at Lincoln’s Inn, he made a decision to become a monk and to live at a nearby monastery. The monastic lifestyle of prayer, fasting, and penance habits stayed with him for the rest of his life. More’s sense of duty to serve his country, by entering politics, put an end to his desire for the monastery. He entered Parliament in 1504, and in 1504 or 1505 he married for the first time.

One of More’s first acts in Parliament had been to argue for a decrease in a proposed appropriation for King Henry VII. Henry VII imprisoned More’s father in revenge and kept him until a fine was paid and More himself retired from public life. After the death of the king in 1509, More once more became active in politics. In 1510, he was appointed one of the two under-sheriffs of London. In 1511, More’s first wife died in childbirth, but he was soon re-married to Dame Alice.

Over the next ten years, More came to the attention of King Henry VIII. In 1515 he was part of a delegation sent to Flanders to help clear disputes about the wool trade. His work Utopia opens with a reference to this delegation. More also play an instrumental role in helping to quell a 1571 London uprising against foreigners. More was part of the king’s entourage at the Field of the Cloth of Gold. In 1518 he became a member of the Privy Council, and was knighted in 1521.

Henry VIII’s Defence of the Seven Sacraments, a repudiation of Luther, may have been co-written by More who, writing under another name, also sent an answer to Luther’s reply. In further proof of Henry’s favor, More was made Speaker of the House of Commons in 1523 and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in 1525. A turn of events came about when he refused to endorse King Henry VIII’s plan to divorce his first wife, Katherine of Aragón in 1527. Still, More became Lord Chancellor after Thomas Wolsey fell in 1529, becoming the first layman to hold the post.

More continued to succeed, but in the end his fall came quickly. He resigned in 1532, claiming ill health. At this time Henry VIII was breaking with Rome and More could not countenance that. His refusal to attend the coronation of Anne Boleyn in June 1533 did not escape the king’s attention. In 1534 Elizabeth Barton, a nun of Kent publicly opposed Henry’s break with Rome. Thomas More was implicated in the plot but was not attainted due to protection from the Lords who refused to pass the bill until More’s name was taken off the list of those charged with complicity. In April 1534, More refused to swear to the Act of Succession, and the Oath of Supremacy, and was sent to the Tower of London on April 17. He was found guilty of treason and was beheaded on July 6, 1535.

More’s unfinished work, The History of Richard III, was found after his death and was subsequently published by his son-in-law, Rastell in 1557. The following foreword was part of this publication:

The History of Richard III (unfinished) written by Master Thomas More, then one of the under-Sheriffs of London about the year 1513 Which work hath been before this time printed in Hardyng’s Chronicle and in Hall’s Chronicle, but very much corrupt in many places sometime having less and sometime having more and altered in words and whole sentences, much varying from the copy in his own hand, by which this is printed.

Since More was only a child of seven at the time of the Battle of Bosworth it stands to reason that he must have received the information from John Morton, in whose home More has spent time as a youth. Morton had served in Edward IV’s government but always remained steadfastly for the Lancastrian cause. He would prove to be a formidable enemy to the last Plantagenet king.

There is some suggestion that Morton was himself the author of The History and that More had only set out to copy it out, never finishing the task. In the seventeenth century George Buck supported this theory stating that “Doctor Morton made the book and Master More…set it forth, amplifying it and glossing it.” This theory is supported by the level of detail presented about certain events at which Morton was known to be present, i.e., the deathbed scene of Edward IV.

Whether or not the manuscript was written by Morton, we can be almost certain that he provided the source of information for More. Given the implacable enmity that Morton bore Richard III that source must always be viewed upon as being besmirched. Thomas More had a reputation for integrity and may have believed what he had been told by his former mentor. The fact that the manuscript was left unfinished could also be an indication that More had stumbled upon facts that did not jive with the story Morton had given him.

More’s account of events basically follow the same outline as Polydore Vergil but is more richly detailed, further supporting the idea that an eye-witness had supplied More with his information.

More’s History makes the following claims:

Richard III began plotting to claim the throne long before the death of his brother, Edward             IV.   The fact that this would have meant removing not only Edward’s sons, but also Clarence and his two children only gives More the opportunity to accuse Richard of being responsible for the death of Clarence.

More is the first historian to make this accusation against Richard. Yet even in doing so he couches it in such a way as to show Richard as being evil and scheming, while still claiming that all is hearsay:

Some wise men also ween that his drift covertly conveyed lacked not in helping forth his brother Clarence to his death; which he resisted openly howbeit somewhat (as men deemed) more faintly than he that were heartily minded to his weal. And they that thus deem think that he long time in King Edward’s life forethought to be King in case that the King his brother (whose life he looked that evil diet should shorten) should happen to decease (as indeed he did) while his children were still young; and they deem that for this intent he was glad of his brother’s death the Duke of Clarence, whose life must needs have hindered him so intending whether the same Duke of Clarence had kept him true to his nephew the young King or enterprised to be King himself. But of all this point there is no certainty, and who divineth upon conjectures may as well shoot too far as too short.

Next, More has Richard plotting to prevent the new young king, Edward, from entering London with a large escort. At the time Richard was in the North and an unaware as yet of the happening down South. More cites that he has the evidence of certain people, but does not substantiate who they are – more hearsay.

More continues his narrative with the incidents leading up to the removal of the Duke of York from his mother. While the sequence of events appear to be factual it is the spin that More puts on them that is damaging to Richard. More emphasizes a motive whereby Richard is trying to get both young princes in his clutches. This is unsubstantiated evidence and it would be just as easy to spin it another way and say that Richard wanted the younger prince to keep his older brother company in the Tower while awaiting his coronation.

The infamous council chamber meeting in the Tower, which ended with the execution of Lord Hastings is another example of how More twisted actual events to point up a darker version. Again the actual events are probably set down correctly. Richard, after arriving in good spirits suddenly turned and accused Morton, Rotherham, Stanley, Hastings and the Woodvilles of plotting against him. Hastings was executed soon after, although the actual date is still in question. More’s account leads the reader to believe that Richard had fully planned out the events before the meeting and killed off Hastings quickly because he believed Hastings would oppose his plan of seizing the throne for himself. Another interpretation was put forth by V.B. Lamb in The Betrayal of Richard III. Lamb puts forth that Richard, being faced by Bishop Stillington’s revelation of the illegitimacy of Edward IV’s children, had to find out who his allies were. He would have sent Catesby to determine if Hastings could be relied upon. Catesby, discovering the scope of the plot against Richard, interrupts the council meeting, calling Richard out of the room to inform him of his findings. Richard, upon returning is, by even More’s account, deeply shocked and fighting for self-control. Lamb’s view is that this would not have been the case if Richard had already fully planned out the events of that day. Lamb further points out that the quick execution of Hastings (whether it occurred that day or a week later) is another indication of the suddenness of the plot with which Richard was faced. Richard was well known to be a stickler for all forms of justice and to have proceeded as he did indicates how deeply shaken he was.1

The point being made here is that More’s version of the council meeting events have been twisted to show Richard as being evilly manipulative, ruthless in eliminating those who stand in his way. Since John Morton was one of those involved in the plot and present at the council meeting it is most conceivable that More would have gotten his information from him. Again, given that Morton was instrumental in Richard’s downfall, not much credence should be given to his relation of the story.

There are a few blatant errors in More’s History. He places the executions of Rivers, Vaughn and Grey on the same day as Hastings thereby giving the impression that they were all part of the same plot. The actual date was not for ten days later, as can be substantiated by the date on River’s will, June 23rd.

Another error is the name given by More as the woman to whom Edward IV was pre-contracted. More states the name is Elizabeth Lucy. The subsequent finding of Titulus Regius indicates that Lady Eleanor Butler was in fact the correct name. There is no good reason why More used Elizabeth Lucy instead, unless Morton, providing the details to More, decided to muddy the waters further with a false name.

The question of the fate of the two princes is most vague in More’s account. His telling of the story is close to Vergil’s version and is based upon the confession of John Tyrrel. What is most intriguing is More’s statement concerning the supposed murder of the two princes. He states:

“whose death and final infortune hath natheless so far come in question that sPrimary Sourcesome yet remain in doubt whether they were in his (Richard’s) days destroyed or no”

More was obviously very unsure of what really happened.

The portion of More’s The History of Richard III written in his own hand-writing breaks off at the point where Morton, under captivity by the Duke of Buckingham in Wales, is successfully attempting to get the Duke to turn on Richard and back Henry Tudor. The narrative is then continued by Hardyng, who brings it up to Richard’s death. It is Hardying who gives a physical description of Richard, almost identical to Vergil’s. More himself made no mention of any physical deformities, which Morton, as his source, would undoubtedly have mentioned.

Shakespeare would have had access to More’s History and very likely relied upon it for his play. However, just by the fact alone that Morton was a primary source for Thomas More calls the whole version into question. The account would have been biased and self-serving. As one of Henry Tudor’s staunch supporters, Morton saw More’s work as a propagandist tool to discredit the former regime.


Who Knew Richard III – Part Four


Polydore Vergil


Vergil, a native of Urbino, was an Italian cleric. He was sent to England in 1501 by Pope Alexander VI as a sub-collector of Peter’s Pence. He was commissioned by Henry VII to write an “official” history of England in 1505.

The first edition of his work was completed in 1534, the second in 1546 incorporating the dates of 1509 in his history. The third edition was published in 1555,the year that Vergil died and the history of his work was extended to 1538. Four other editions were later published, Basel in 1555, Ghent 1556-57, Basel 1570 and Leyden in 1651.

Sir Henry Ellis translated Vergil’s work in 1844 for the Camden Society. The translation is taken from the MSS version of the old Royal Library in the British Museum. Ellis cites that it was written in the latter part of Henry VIII’s reign but this is inaccurate.

Hall’s and the Continuation of the Hardyng Chronicles were taken from the first edition published in 1534 whereas Ellis’ translation is taken from the second edition.

The second translation is accurate accept for small and un-important exceptions. Quotations are done for the sake of convenience and reference is made back to the first edition.

The errors of Vergil’s account of the reigns of Edward IV and Richard III are numerous.


Richard, Duke of Gloucester is not mentioned as fighting at the Battle of Barnet.

· Henry VI was put to death in the Tower of London and cites that Richard, Duke of Gloucester killed him with his sword so his brother, Edward IV, would be free from further hostility.

· Richard, Duke of Gloucester is not accused of killing his brother, George, Duke of Clarence but states that Edward IV did out of fear of the prophecy that after his reign someone with the letter “G” would rule England.

· Richard is given no credit for his outstanding leadership of the Scottish-Border campaign.


Edward IV died at the age of fifty rather than at the age of forty.


Upon hearing of the news of Edward IV’s death, Richard III began his campaign to seize the throne from his nephew, Edward V. When Richard meets Buckingham at Northampton, Vergil states it was at this time that Richard revealed his plan to take the throne. Anthony Woodville and Thomas Vaughan are mentioned as being arrested. Hastings, who originally sided with Richard, now called a council meeting in St. Paul’s Church that included friends of Edward V. Some members of the council urged that Edward V should be rescued from Richard while others urged that they wait until Richard arrived in London to explain his actions. Richard supposedly declares that he realizes any harm to his nephews would mean that it could rebound to the country and him.

The princes were conveyed to the Tower to await the coronation of Edward V. The council meeting of June does not mention that Richard appeared in a pleasant mood, left and then returned in an agitated mood. Vergil cites that Richard entered the council and stated that he was in great danger, that he has not been able to sleep, eat or drink. He continues by showing his arm is withered and that Elizabeth Woodville, used witchcraft on him. Hastings, who had supported him, responded that the queen should be punished. Richard repeats the story and Hastings’ response is the same. Richard then accuses Hastings of seeking Richard’s destruction. Richard’s men enter and Hastings was taken out and beheaded.

Shaw’s sermon, according to Vergil, denies the report that Shaw referred to the princes as bastards and has Richard present at the sermon. After Richard’s coronation, Richard traveled to Gloucester and there planned to kill his nephews. Brackenbury refuses to kill the princes and it is left to Tyrell to carry out the King’s will and murders the princes. Hall, Grafton and Shakespeare would later copy Vergil’s account of the Queen’s lament upon hearing the news that her sons were dead. Vergil cites the discord between Buckingham and Richard because Richard would not give Buckingham the Hereford lands. Buckingham retires to Brecknock informing the Bishop of Ely his intent to overthrow Richard. Ely approves of Buckingham’s intent employing Reginald Bray to act as a go-between for Buckingham and Margaret Beaufort. Before the disenchantment between Richard and Buckingham, Elizabeth Woodville and Margaret Beaufort had begun to make plans to place Henry Tudor on the throne provided he marries Elizabeth of York.

Richard learned of the conspiracy and when he discovers Buckingham is the chief instigator summons him to court. Buckingham responds that he is ill. Richard leads his army towards Salisbury. Buckingham’s soldiers desert him and scatter to Brittany or Flanders. Buckingham was then beheaded.

· Vergil claims that Richard spread a rumor abroad that his wife, Anne Neville, was dying. Upon hearing of the news, she asked Richard why he was anticipating her death. It is presumed by Virgil that Richard reassures her with loving words and a few days later, she dies. Richard then focuses on his desire to marry his niece, Elizabeth of York. However, because of the counsel and her dislike for Richard, he decides to wait.

He created the account of Richard having a withered arm that proved his villainy causing his defeat at Bosworth and cites that all his men deserted him while he fought fighting alone. His statements refer to King Richard III, as spiteful practice, subtlety, sleight, malice, fraud, graceless, wicked, mischievous, frantic and mad.

Vergil is referred to as the “Father of English History”. Vergil is accused of destroying documents that contradicted his point of view and his history is the first to accuse Richard of the murder of his nephews.

His work gave the Tudors what they wanted – an account depicting crimes, faults and unpopularity that were directed to defame King Richard III. Vergil’s work is the first to develop a saga against Richard III. With his so-called History of England, the stage is set against Richard III.


Who Knew Richard III – Part Three



Dominic Mancini was born into a well-known Roman family, the son of Alexander Mancini and Ambrosina Fabii. His date of birth is unknown, but it believed to be after 1434. He was an Augustinian friar and a scholar who wrote moral and theological works in Latin verse. Before coming to England, he had served as an agent spying on the French. Mancini came to England to work as an intelligence agent and perhaps envoy in 1482, on instructions of his patron, Angelo Cato, Archbishop of Vienne. He stayed in England until July 1483. He resided in Paris, where he wrote two religious books. He is believed to have died around 1514.

He was most likely unable to speak English and had to rely on other Italians living in London for information. One of his primary sources was Dr. John Argentine, an English physician who studied in Italy and spoke fluent Italian. Argentine was also the physician of the young Edward V.

Mancini was the author of The Usurpation of Richard III, written in December 1483. This manuscript was found in the Bibliotheque Nationale in Lille, France in1936 and was published by the English scholar Charles Armstrong.

Mancini’s credibility as a source

  • He did not know the English language or customs.

  • He did not know that monarchs reside in the Tower until coronation and in the case of the Princes, the Tower was being used as a residence and not a prison.

  • He did not name his sources, except for Dr. John Argentine, who had studied in Italy and was known to have Lancastrian sympathies. He employed such catchphrases such as “men say”, “it is being said that”, etc.

Men say that in the same will he appointed as protector of his children and realm his brother Richard duke of Gloucester, who shortly after destroyed Edward’s children and then claimed for himself the throne


Here he writes of the capture of both of the young princes at Stony Stratford:

Finally, the youth,…..surrendered himself to the care of his uncle, which was inevitable, ….Of the king’s attendants, or those who had come out to meet him, nearly all were ordered home. Richard, the queen’s other son, who was quite young, and but a little before had come from London to the king, was arrested with him in the same village, and with his brother, Richard was handed over to the care of guards in the same town.

Richard, Duke of York, was not at Stony Stratford but in sanctuary in London.  He joined his brother at a later date.

Mancini was in England for only three months, leaving the country right after Richard’s coronation in July 1483.

He was not present when the events he wrote about took place. His account his based upon hearsay and incorrect statements.

…after Hastings was removed, all the attendants who had waited upon the king were debarred access to him. He and his brother were withdrawn into the inner apartments of the Tower proper, and day by day began to be seen more rarely behind the bars the windows, till at length they ceased to appear altogether. A Strasbourg doctor, the last of his attendants whose services the king enjoyed, reporter that the young king, like a victim prepared for sacrifice, sought remission to his sins by daily confession and penance, because he believed that death was facing him….I have seen many men burst forth into tears and lamentations when mention was made of him after his removal from men’s sight; and already there was a suspicion that he had been done away with. Whether, however, he has been done away with {Mancini is writing in December of 1483}, and by what manner of death, so far I have no at all discovered.

Mancini was probably never a visitor to the Tower. The Garden Tower is closer to the curtain wall than the Royal Apartments. The fact that the boys were seen in the garden meant that they were not being closely supervised at all, but were within the confines of the Tower. The “Strasbourg doctor” he refers to was Dr. John Argentine, who was not from Strasbourg but was English. He does not say where the young King was when Dr. Argentine was no longer seeing him as a patient.

Who Knew Richard III – Part Two

 The Sources – Continued

Raphael Holinshed


Raphael Holinshed was born circa 1529 to a Cheshire family. He lived in London from about 1560, where he was employed as a translator by Reginald Wolfe, who was preparing a universal history. In 1573, after Wolfe’s death, the extent of the work was shortened, and it appeared, with many illustrations, as the Chronicles of England, Scotlande, and Irelande, 2 vol. (dated 1577).

The Chronicles was compiled from many sources of varying degrees of trustworthiness. The texts of the first and second (1587) editions were refined by order of the Privy Council, with the deleted entries from the second edition being published separately in 1723. The complete, unchanged edition of 1587 was edited by Henry Ellis and given the title of Holinshed’s Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland. This was published in six volumes (1807-08). Two selections have also appeared: Holinshed’s Chronicle as Used in Shakespeare’s Plays was edited by Allardyce and Josephine Nicoll (1927), and Shakespeare’s Holinshed was compiled and edited by Richard Hosley (1968).

Holinshed died around 1580.

Holinshed’s importance to Shakespeare lies in the fact that the playwright leaned heavily on the Chronicles for his major history plays. It would probably have been the most comphrehensive source existing for Shakespeare to use in writing not only The Tragedy of King Richard III, but also Macbeth, King Lear and Cymbeline. An example of Shakespeare borrowing more than just a plot can be seen in the following:

Holinshed’s version

The proclamation ended, another herald cried: “Behold here Henry of Lancaster Duke of Hereford, appellant, which is entered into the lists royal to do his devoir against Thomas Mowbray Duke of Norfolk, defendant, upon pain to be found false and recreant!”

(Holinshed 72)

Shakespeare’s version

Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby,

Stands here for God, his sovereign, and himself,

On pain to be found false and recreant,

To prove the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray,

A traitor to his God, his king, and him,

And dares him to set forward to the fight.

(Richard III, 1.3.104-9)

It appears that Holinshed gathered his material from Thomas More, Polydore Vergil and Hardyng. The only veering off that Holinshed did was to include the name of Dorset to the list of those who had killed Edward of Lancaster.

While Holinshed may have provided a needed source for Shakespeare, it must be concluded that as a historical source he should be discounted. His writing must be subjected to the same criticism that is applied to that of the works of More, Vergil, et al. There appears to be nothing new that can be gleaned from his work that would in anyway be construed as a reliable, unbiased piece of history.


Lamb, V.B., The Betrayal of Richard III (1991)

Encylopedia Britannica On-line (Biographies)

Shakespeare’s Sources in the Histories (http://web.uvic.ca/shakespeare/Library/SLTnoframes/history/sources.html

Who Knew Richard III – Part One

The Sources Continued

 Edward Hall

Hall was born in either 1498 or 1499. He was educated at Eton and King’s College in Cambridge studying law at Gray’s Inn. He entered politics becoming a member of Parliament. He became a staunch supporter of Henry VIII.

His book “The Union of the Noble and Illustre Famielies of Lancastre and York” was first printed by Berthelot in 1542. However, there is no evidence to support that this edition existed No copy with the date of 1502 exists or with a dedication to Henry VIII. There is a copy in the Granville Library in the British Museum and another is in the Public Library in Cambridge that contains leaves with initial blooming letter that differ in form and a rougher workmanship that is not evident in the perfect editions of 1548 and 1550. When we consider that the amount of changes that were made, it makes it feasible that the edition issued by Grafton in 1548 was the first edition.

Hall completed his work before his death in 1547 to include the twenty-fourth year of Henry VIII of 1532.

His treatment of Edward IV is a translation of Polydore Vergil’s work that include a few additions from de Comines regarding the affairs of England in France, a few details extracted from Fabyan and other obscure sources. Plagiarism was Hall’s byword and he was the master of twisting and turning facts.

He mentions that Warwick went to Spain to ask for the hand of Elizabeth, sister of the King of Castile. Elizabeth was six at the time while Edward was twenty-four. Both ages of the said parties are incorrect.

The additional evidence that the first edition by Hall was proceeded by Hardyng’s Continuation.