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whitehound
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PostSubject: treason...   Sun May 11, 2014 7:25 pm

This is just something which occurred to me.  Tradition says that Richard died shouting "Treason, treason".  Now, he might reasonably direct that at the Stanleys but it seems an odd thing to shout at Henry and his Welsh and French army, since they didn't acknowledge Richard's rule in the first place and in the case of the French, owed him no allegiance at all.  You can't be a traitor to someone to whom you owe no duty, you can only be an enemy, so it makes Richard seem a bit overly attached to the idea of his own right to the throne, which feeds into the traditionalist idea that he might have gone after the throne and grabbed it out of arrogance.

But it occurred to me recently to connect that cry of "Treason" with claims (which seem to be supported by the evidence) that it was Rhys ap Thomas and his men who struck Richard down.  Rhys had been personally treacherous, he had pledged allegiance to Richard and then betrayed him in a very sly unpleasant way - he's the one who's supposed to have promised Richard that Tudor would pass through his lands only over his body, and then went and stood under a bridge so Henry's army could ride over him.

To shout "Treason!" - or more probably "You treacherous bastard!" - at Rhys would be *wholly* justified, on both a political and a personal level.
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phaecilia

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PostSubject: Re: treason...   Tue May 13, 2014 4:54 pm

whitehound wrote:
This is just something which occurred to me.  Tradition says that Richard died shouting "Treason, treason".   [Snip]
 
But it occurred to me recently to connect that cry of "Treason" with claims (which seem to be supported by the evidence) that it was Rhys ap Thomas and his men who struck Richard down.  Rhys had been personally treacherous, he had pledged allegiance to Richard and then betrayed him in a very sly unpleasant way - he's the one who's supposed to have promised Richard that Tudor would pass through his lands only over his body, and then went and stood under a bridge so Henry's army could ride over him.

To shout "Treason!" - or more probably "You treacherous bastard!" - at Rhys would be *wholly* justified, on both a political and a personal level.

This reminds me of a photo of Rhys ap Thomas' bed I've seen.  One of the carvings is supposed to show him fighting Richard at Bosworth.  I think I saw this photo in The King's Grave; the search for Richard III by Phillipa Langley and Michael K. Jones.  I'm not sure the photos I've found online are the same as the one I saw.

Rhys ap Thomas' bed

Whitehound, did you have this carving in mind when you connected Richard's cry of "Treason" to Rhys ap Thomas?

Even if I'm mistaken about the carvings on Rhys ap Thomas' bed, this collection of medieval bed illustrations is interesting.  
Medieval Beds



phaecilia
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whitehound
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PostSubject: Re: treason...   Tue May 13, 2014 5:28 pm

No, I'd not seen that. There were some comments when Richard's body was found saying that Rhys had claimed to have "shaved" him, and this was consistent with the idea that when Richard was struck down a very thin surface slice was taken out of his skull, which tended to coinfirm that Rhys had been either his killer or an eye-witness.

If that carving on the bed really shows Rhys fighting Richard, and not just two generic knights, and given that Rhys was probably at least an eye-witness to Richard's death, it's interesting that it shows the-figure-who-may-be-Richard wielding a lance. Afaik the only other piece of evidence we have as to what Richard might have been fighting with is that near-contemporary ballad which has him going into battle using an axe.

The Mediaeval beds are interesting - I especially like the Dream of Mordechai one, with the guy's boots stacked up by the bed. It suggests a cold floor, and visions of Mediaeval man (even Richard) tiptoeing across an early-morning stone floor in boots and nightshirt, or even boots and nothing.
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