The Richard III Network
Welcome to The Richard III Network. We hope you enjoy your visit and consider joining our forum.


A forum where you can discuss King Richard III and anything related to his life and times.
 
HomeHome  RegisterRegister  Log in  

Share | 
 

 One myth we can lay to rest?

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
Constantia

avatar

Posts : 95
Join date : 2014-03-22

PostSubject: One myth we can lay to rest?   Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:40 am

I think that, given Richard's eloquent denial (preserved almost word for word in the records of the Mercers, if I recall correctly) and the fact that Richard was planning to marry Princess Joanna of Portugal, a genuine Lancastrian heir (marrying Elizabeth of York to Joanna's cousin Manuel at the same time), we can lay this particular myth to rest. That's not to mention how absurd it would be for Richard to marry the niece that his Parliament had declared illegitimate, which would make a travesty of Titulus Regius (in addition to whatever criticism he would receive for marrying his niece, the difficulty of receiving a papal dispensation for such a marriage, and the fact that a marriage to Elizabeth, in contrast to Joanna, would bring neither a suitable dowry nor a foreign alliance). In fact, I can think of no advantage at all to a marriage that would make him look like a lecher and a hypocrite even to his own supporters.
Back to top Go down
Thibault

avatar

Posts : 75
Join date : 2014-03-22

PostSubject: Re: One myth we can lay to rest?   Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:57 am

But it is perpetuated because it is a good stick to beat him with.

I was looking at Weir's EoY book the other day and she includes a quote which she sources to Ross. As I have Ross's book, I was able to track it down. It is from Langton where he makes a comment that Richard's court was increasing in sensuality. She uses 'his' rather than the court, giving the impression that Richard was in a sexual passion for his niece. (I haven't quoted it exactly but I could find it again, if anyone wishes me to).
Back to top Go down
Constantia

avatar

Posts : 95
Join date : 2014-03-22

PostSubject: Re: One myth we can lay to rest?   Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:18 pm

That sounds like Weir, who distorts evidence to suit her view of Richard. I haven't read and don't intend to read her book on Elizabeth of York, but since she treated Sir Thomas More's account of the "murder" of the "Princes" as factual (ignoring his acknowledgment of other possibilities and the moving of the bodies, as well as the innate absurdities in the story) and even, if I recall correctly, acted as if she had discovered in More a new source that no one else was familiar with, I wouldn't put anything past her.

What I meant, though, in my original post was that we in this forum can probably dismiss this particular story as a myth, not that the myth itself is likely to die any time soon with the likes of Weir and Hicks (who calls Richard a "serial incestor" in his biography of Anne Neville) out to further blacken his name and perpetuate the Richard-as-monster idea. But we do have ammunition with which to counter it. We just need to make that evidence better known--the advantage, I suppose, of having this forum accessible to the general public.
Back to top Go down
whitehound
Admin
avatar

Posts : 187
Join date : 2014-03-20

PostSubject: Re: One myth we can lay to rest?   Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:21 pm

I don't know that her being illegitimate would necessarily disbar him from marrying her, or that marrying her would make her legitimate - any children they might have would inherit their royal claim from their father.

The idea of a romance between them is based largely on the letter which Buck reports, in which EoY speaks of Richard in rather overheated terms and associates Anne's protracted death with delays to her own marriage plans. Even if you take it at face value it suggests that EoY was pursuing Richard (and not having much success, since she asks Norfolk to intercede for her), not vice versa.

But Marie Walsh made a very interesting suggestion concerning Croyland's story about Anne and EoY wearing similar clothes at Christmas, i.e. that EoY was acting as Anne's lady in waiting and they were wearing themed outfits. If EoY was Anne's assistant that would explain her letter: Richard would surely not want Anne to have to go though the stress of training a new assistant when she was dying, so plans for EoY's wedding to her Portuguese fiancé would have to be put on hold until the queen died.
Back to top Go down
Wednesday
Admin
avatar

Posts : 137
Join date : 2014-03-19

PostSubject: Re: One myth we can lay to rest?   Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:04 pm

Thibault wrote:
But it is perpetuated because it is a good stick to beat him with.  

I was looking at Weir's EoY book the other day and she includes a quote which she sources to Ross.  As I have Ross's book, I was able to track it down.  It is from Langton where he makes a comment that Richard's court was increasing in sensuality.  She uses 'his' rather than the court, giving the impression that Richard was in a sexual passion for his niece.  (I haven't quoted it exactly but I could find it again, if anyone wishes me to).  


I've said before that Weir and Hicks both write as though Richard somehow personally rejected or disappointed them, and they're still angry with him.

Do Hicks and Weir both ignore Richard's marriage negotiations with Spain and Portugal that were going on at the same time they claim he was stalking his niece?

I miss Marie Walsh and her posts.
Back to top Go down
http://richardiiinetwork.forumotion.com
whitehound
Admin
avatar

Posts : 187
Join date : 2014-03-20

PostSubject: Re: One myth we can lay to rest?   Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:28 pm

Well, that guy who wrote "England's Black Legend" - Sewell, was it? - started off thinking that Richard was a perfct holy saint, and then when he discovered that he was mortal and flawed he was so disappointed that he turned the other way and saw him as a villain. He couldn't deal with the fact that Richard being (at a rough estimate) about 300 years ahead of his time left him still about 200 years behind ours.
Back to top Go down
Wednesday
Admin
avatar

Posts : 137
Join date : 2014-03-19

PostSubject: Re: One myth we can lay to rest?   Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:46 pm

whitehound wrote:
Well, that guy who wrote "England's Black Legend" - Sewell, was it? - started off thinking that Richard was a perfct holy saint, and then when he discovered that he was mortal and flawed he was so disappointed that he turned the other way and saw him as a villain.  He couldn't deal with the fact that Richard being (at a rough estimate) about 300 years ahead of his time left him still about 200 years behind ours.


I borrowed a library copy of that book and couldn't get through it. I think I made it about three paragraphs in. Returned it forthwith.

One one hand, it's fascinating what people will project onto an archetype (and Richard has many archetypes attached to him). On the other hand, I can't some of them. The energy attached just feels so...vicious. (When he's supposed to have been the vicious one?) I guess we're all like that.

I wish Jung had studied him/reactions to him.

_________________


Last edited by Wednesday on Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
http://richardiiinetwork.forumotion.com
Constantia

avatar

Posts : 95
Join date : 2014-03-22

PostSubject: Re: One myth we can lay to rest?   Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:47 pm

whitehound wrote:
Well, that guy who wrote "England's Black Legend" - Sewell, was it? - started off thinking that Richard was a perfct holy saint, and then when he discovered that he was mortal and flawed he was so disappointed that he turned the other way and saw him as a villain.  He couldn't deal with the fact that Richard being (at a rough estimate) about 300 years ahead of his time left him still about 200 years behind ours.

Close. It was Desmond Seward. I can't figure out how to burn or shred his book, and I don't want to donate it to a library or charity for fear that it will poison someone's mind against Richard, so I've contented myself with writing all over the book, presenting arguments that he will never read and occasionally calling him a moron. (I just realized that no one would want a book in that condition, but that still leaves me with the question of how to dispose of it without burning down my apartment.)

But, seriously, we need to get the facts--not so much our opinions, which may be disregarded or even ridiculed by those brought up on the "black legend"--out into the public view. The marriage negotiations with Portugal might be a good place to start.

Does anyone know of any sources we can use? Harleian 433, for starters?
Back to top Go down
whitehound
Admin
avatar

Posts : 187
Join date : 2014-03-20

PostSubject: Re: One myth we can lay to rest?   Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:24 pm

I didn't get very far with it either - I think I read two or three chapters and I just thought "Oh, come *on*." It's like tabloid journalism.
Back to top Go down
Constantia

avatar

Posts : 95
Join date : 2014-03-22

PostSubject: Re: One myth we can lay to rest?   Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:11 pm

Yep. Just trash. Or "rubbish," as the British say.
Back to top Go down
morgana1415

avatar

Posts : 2
Join date : 2014-03-31

PostSubject: Re: One myth we can lay to rest?   Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:35 pm

So many people subscribe to this (that Richard was in love with/planning to marry EoY) because gossip was so ripe Richard had to publicly deny it...the old "if there's smoke, there's fire". Think of poor EoY, her father, the King, is dead, her and her siblings declaired illegitimate, her future uncertain, her world unsidedown. Uncle Richard comes in, treats her with respect, she becomes part of Auntie Anne's household. She is of an age for hero-worship...a handsome man, a lonely girl...a little attention. As for the Christmas revels dress matching the Queens, it was customary for women of the same affinity to wear the same colors at court, and if Richard or Anne had the dresses made from the same cloth that is common too, material being sold by the ell or bolt was probably enough for several dresses, or skirts. The letter from Elizabeth to Norfolk only is mentioned in hearsay, no one has actually seen the letter. Richard was fulfilling his promise to Elizabeth Woodville; that he would treat her children honorably and assure their good future. And any comment similar to "will the Queen never die" might mean "the Queen suffers so, will God ease her pain? or also, "the court is so sad and dreary, when will we get a chance to dress up and enjoy life?" typical on any teen who has to deal with a reduced life style for whatever reason.
Back to top Go down
morgana1415

avatar

Posts : 2
Join date : 2014-03-31

PostSubject: Re: One myth we can lay to rest?   Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:40 pm

After reading certain authors, Weir (who is not a historian), Seward, Gregory, I also prefer not to purchase any more books by them. I don't have that kind of time to waste.
Back to top Go down
whitehound
Admin
avatar

Posts : 187
Join date : 2014-03-20

PostSubject: Re: One myth we can lay to rest?   Mon Mar 31, 2014 7:33 pm

If the business about wearing clothes of the same cloth had just been a normal matter of using up a bolt of the samer material, though, why would Croyland comment on it? My impression (which of course may not be accurate) was that he meant that Anne and EoY repeatedly changed their costume and every time they did so, they matched. Evidently that was Marie's impression too. And being a lady in waiting was a high-status job which would nevertheless enable Anne to keep a covert eye on the girl, so it seems a likely role for her.

Iirc nearly all the documents which Buck describes are either still extant or known from other sources, so there's no reason to think that the handful which aren't known from other sources were invented by him. However, the content is filtered through his memory, which may not be 100% accurate. *He* evidently thought EoY was talking about marrying Richard, rather than Richard arranging for her to marry someone else, and that has probably coloured his recollection.
Back to top Go down
Thibault

avatar

Posts : 75
Join date : 2014-03-22

PostSubject: Re: One myth we can lay to rest?   Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:20 pm

whitehound wrote:


Iirc nearly all the documents which Buck describes are either still extant or known from other sources, so there's no reason to think that the handful which aren't known from other sources were invented by him.  However, the content is filtered through his memory, which may not be 100% accurate.  *He* evidently thought EoY was talking about marrying Richard, rather than Richard arranging for her to marry someone else, and that has probably coloured his recollection.

Also, IIRC, the wording of the letter has been modified/added to by various subsequent writers - starting with Buck's nephew and Kincaid's more recent work.
Back to top Go down
whitehound
Admin
avatar

Posts : 187
Join date : 2014-03-20

PostSubject: Re: One myth we can lay to rest?   Tue Apr 01, 2014 4:34 am

There's independent evidence that she had a tendresse for Richard, without necessarily meaning anything very sexual - isn't there document in which she has written one of his mottoes in her own hand next to a tag meaning "unchanging"?

It casts her marriage to Henry in a strange light - but then, the fact that Richard had executed her uncle and half-brother evidently didn't stop her from being fond of Richard, so I suppose the fact that Henry had caused Richard's death may not have stopped her from becoming (eventually) fond of Henry. It was an age and a social class where being the cause of somebody else's death was quite common, and her own father had killed his brother.
Back to top Go down
Wednesday
Admin
avatar

Posts : 137
Join date : 2014-03-19

PostSubject: Re: One myth we can lay to rest?   Tue Apr 01, 2014 3:23 pm

whitehound wrote:
There's independent evidence that she had a tendresse for Richard, without necessarily meaning anything very sexual - isn't there document in which she has written one of his mottoes in her own hand next to a tag meaning "unchanging"?


Do you think "unchanging" meant her own emotions for him were unchanging, or perhaps that Richard was unchanging; perhaps one of those rare people (even today they seem rare) who said what he meant and did what he said he'd do?

Quote :
It casts her marriage to Henry in a strange light - but then, the fact that Richard had executed her uncle and half-brother evidently didn't stop her from being fond of Richard,

Welllll, as Liam Neeson said in a movie, "When you gamble, my friend, sometimes you lose." The uncle and half-brother knew they were gambling, so it may be that Elizabeth and her mother understood that. Perhaps they were grateful for Richard's largesse? No better prospects in the offing?

Quote :
...so I suppose the fact that Henry had caused Richard's death may not have stopped her from becoming (eventually) fond of Henry.

Whether she eventually became fond of Henry or not, I think she had little choice regarding her fate from August 1485 onward. Whatever her feelings for Richard, he was gone. He could no longer look after her or protect her or keep any promises made to her mother. Elizabeth of York was a pawn. I wish Richard had sent her to Portugal early, or had seen her married closer to home once word came that the Tydder had sworn to marry her.

Then again, Richard's marrying off Cecily of York didn't save her: Henry simply dissolved the marriage and moved her where he wanted her. But I doubt he would have wanted to take Elizabeth as his queen if she'd already been someone else's wife. Or would he have simply had the married declared invalid and proceeded anyway?

Quote :
It was an age and a social class where being the cause of somebody else's death was quite common, and her own father had killed his brother.

Messy "art of the possible."

_________________
Back to top Go down
http://richardiiinetwork.forumotion.com
whitehound
Admin
avatar

Posts : 187
Join date : 2014-03-20

PostSubject: Re: One myth we can lay to rest?   Tue Apr 01, 2014 5:11 pm

Wednesday wrote:
Do you think "unchanging" meant her own emotions for him were unchanging, or perhaps that Richard was unchanging; perhaps one of those rare people (even today they seem rare) who said what he meant and did what he said he'd do?

I've always thought she meant her own emotions, but I don't remember which motto it was - if it was Loyalte Me Lie she could equally well have meant that *he* was constant.  Indeed it could be a comment on people who thought that he had betrayed her father by taking the throne - she could be declaring her belief that he had been motivated by chivalry and duty throughout.

Wednesday wrote:
Welllll, as Liam Neeson said in a movie, "When you gamble, my friend, sometimes you lose." The uncle and half-brother knew they were gambling, so it may be that Elizabeth and her mother understood that.

Yes, quite, I think they must have done.  But Richard was also gambling by taking the throne.  Even if he did it reluctantly and for the best possible motives, he must have known he was volunteering to be Target 1, and by putting on the crown and charging into battle he quite consciously and immediately made himself a target.  And, to be fair, so did Henry.  He could have watched from a distance, but even though his eyesight problem meant he couldn't fight (not to mention his general weediness and disengagement) he put himself on the battlefield to be a target too.  So both of them must have been aware that they were gambling their lives for the crown, even though poor Richard had been lumbered with that situation by his dodgy brother.

Wednesday wrote:
Whether she eventually became fond of Henry or not, I think she had little choice regarding her fate from August 1485 onward. Whatever her feelings for Richard, he was gone. He could no longer look after her or protect her or keep any promises made to her mother. Elizabeth of York was a pawn.

Yes - although on the plus side she seems to have found in Henry a man whom she could push around.  Considering how tight-fisted he was, it's quite something that he financed her gambling habit, and he told some ambassador that he couldn't make him a gift of a painting "Because my wife says I'm not to".  It often happens that people who have great responsibility in their working life, and are finding it stressful, like their partner to boss them around so they get a break from decision-making.  Perhaps that explains the appeal of Elizabeth Woodville!

Wednesday wrote:
I wish Richard had sent her to Portugal early, or had seen her married closer to home once word came that the Tydder had sworn to marry her.

But then our royal family would not have been part Plantagenet - although on thye plus side I suppose we would ahve been spared Fat Harry, who combined the worst characteristics of both lines and few of their virtues.  [He was a patron of music - that's about it as far as virtues go.]
Back to top Go down
Constantia

avatar

Posts : 95
Join date : 2014-03-22

PostSubject: Re: One myth we can lay to rest?   Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:42 pm

whitehound wrote:
If the business about wearing clothes of the same cloth had just been a normal matter of using up a bolt of the samer material, though, why would Croyland comment on it?  

Because he hated Richard and wanted to make something out of nothing? Or he had heard the rumors and wanted to provide "evidence" to support them? He criticized Richard's lavish Christmas celebrations after praising Edward for exactly the same thing, the old hypocrite! He probably thought it "unseemly" that a niece that Richard had declared illegitimate should participate in Christmas celebrations with her aunt and uncle and that there must somehow be more to it. But it was Anne, not Richard, whose dress was of the same material (or color or style) as Elizabeth's, which indicates some sort of collaboration among the women. I doubt that Richard picked out the fabric for his wife's dress, much less his niece's.
Back to top Go down
whitehound
Admin
avatar

Posts : 187
Join date : 2014-03-20

PostSubject: Re: One myth we can lay to rest?   Wed Apr 02, 2014 3:53 am

Yes, it certainly does suggest collusion between them -Marie's suggesation, which I think is a good one, is that they were actively wearing themed outfits and that this may have meant that Elizabeth was Anne's shadow and her assistant, wearing the equivalent of her livery, like a bridesmaid dressed to complement a bride. On its own that's just a passing thought by Marie but it gains more weight imo when combined with the otherwise strange and vicious-sounding comment attributed to EoY to the effect that she was impatient for the queen to die so she could get married.

Would Croyland make a fuss about the girls being at court despite being illegitimate? Being a king's bastard was a very high-status occupation. Did he say anything negative about young John being given an important role?
Back to top Go down
Constantia

avatar

Posts : 95
Join date : 2014-03-22

PostSubject: Re: One myth we can lay to rest?   Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:47 am

whitehound wrote:
Would Croyland make a fuss about the girls being at court despite being illegitimate?  Being a king's bastard was a very high-status occupation.  Did he say anything negative about young John being given an important role?

Not that they were illegitimate per se but that Richard himself (or rather, his Parliament) had declared them illegitimate. It might look to Croyland (whoever he was) as if Richard were hypocritically trying to make it up to them. Anything to make Richard look bad. I'm just guessing, of course. But his hypocrisy in praising Edward's elaborate Christmas celebrations and then criticizing Richard's grates on my nerves. At any rate, he was making a big deal out of nothing and finding "evidence" where, as we know, there was none.

Side note: You mentioned "girls," but I think the only daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville at court at that time was Elizabeth. The little ones must have been with their mother, possibly at Sheriff Hutton, and Cecily was (I think) already married to Ralph Scrope--the forgotten marriage that Henry VII annulled so that his half-uncle Viscount Welles (who had earlier tried to "rescue" the "Princes") could marry her. No wonder she finally married a commoner so she could escape the court! (I think it's significant that she named her son by Thomas Kymbe Richard--a statement of rejection of the Tudor regime and support for her dead uncle?)

I don't think Croyland mentions John of Gloucester at all. I did a quick check of the online public domain edition at the Society's American branch site: no results for "John of," which covers both John of Gloucester and John of Pomfret (Pontefract). Here's the link for anyone who wants to check the Croyland Chronicle for this thread or any other: http://www.r3.org/on-line-library-text-essays/crowland-chronicle/
Back to top Go down
whitehound
Admin
avatar

Posts : 187
Join date : 2014-03-20

PostSubject: Re: One myth we can lay to rest?   Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:19 am

I didn't know about Cecily's marriage.

I suppose that Richard would try to make it up to them - it must have been a horrible shock for those children not only to lose their father but to then find out that he had deceived their mother (or possibly connived with her to deceive everyone else).

Whether losing the throne was also a horrible shock for young Edward, or a massive relief, we can't know. To modern ears calling him Lord Bastard sounds offensive, like rubbing it in, but being a bastard wasn't as frowned on as it would be in later centuries. In fact calling him Lord Bastard may have been a kindness - a way of pointing out "This is still a king's son, even if not quite a legitimate one".
Back to top Go down
Constantia

avatar

Posts : 95
Join date : 2014-03-22

PostSubject: Re: One myth we can lay to rest?   Wed Apr 02, 2014 12:01 pm

Here's one source that mentions Cecily's marriage to Ralph Scrope, Magna Carta Ancestry in Google Books. Look under the entry for John Welles on page 308. I think it's also mentioned in the most recent edition of The Complete Peerage, but unfortunately that's not available through Google Books.
Back to top Go down
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: One myth we can lay to rest?   

Back to top Go down
 
One myth we can lay to rest?
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» ROME URGES SUNDAY REST
» Has anyone accessed super through REST?
» Trying to access husbands Super thru REST... Anyone else done this?
» "The Myth That Is True" By Michael Heiser
» Windmill Cafe on the Autobahn

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
The Richard III Network :: RICHARD'S LIFE as KING (Includes Controversial Legends, Issues, Events) :: Richard's Alleged Plans to Marry Elizabeth of York-
Jump to: