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.


Author: penbardd

I am the founder and CEO/President of The Richard III Foundation, Inc.

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