Posts Tagged ‘Richard III’
Battle of Towton – the bloodiest battle ever fought on English soil
The Battle of Towton , regarded as “the largest and bloodiest battle ever fought on English soil”, was fought in a snow storm on Palm Sunday, 29 March 1461, between the Lancastrian forces of King Henry VI and the Yorkist forces led by Edward, Earl of March. It has been said that 28,000 men died that day, out of 50,000 to 100,000 soldiers. The result was a Yorkist victory and Edward became king as Edward IV.
In 1996 a mass grave of fallen soldiers was found at Towton Hall. Their remains have been studied by the University of Bradford.
Edward IV had planned to build a memorial chapel at Towton, but it was Richard III, who put this plan into action. The chapel was nearly finished, when he was killed at Bosworth, and the chapel had been lost. Or so it was thought. In October 2013 it was revealed that scientists had found strong evidence of remains of the chapel.
In 2010 fragments of hand held guns and lead shot were found at the battle site, the earliest ever to be found.
Helen Cox, ‘Towton: the Battle and the Battlefield Society’, Herstory Writing & Interpretation (4 Sept 2010). Link “Towton” on URL: http://helencox-herstorywriting.co.uk/#/articles/4539783477 Date accessed: 19 Oct 2010
T. Sutherland & A. Schmidt,’The Towton Battlefield Archaeological Survey Project: An Integrated Approach to Battlefield Archaeology’, Landscapes, Vol.4, Issue 2 (October 2003), pp.15-25. Available from URL: http://bradscholars.brad.ac.uk:8080/bitstream/handle/10454/818/Towton03-Preprint.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y Date accessed: 30 December 2014
‘Richard III Towton chapel remains are ‘found’’, BBC News York & North Yorkshire (7 Oct 2013). URL: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-24434795 Date accessed: 8 Oct 2013
A short description of the various battles of the Wars of the Roses can be found on the website of the Richard III Society.
He must have had special relevance for Richard III, as the statutes for his college at Middleham, which it has been suggested Richard might have written himself, state that one of the stalls for the priests should be named for St Cuthbert. St Cuthbert’s was one of the principal feast days to be celebrated at Middleham.
Melhuish, Joyce M., The College of King Richard III, Middleham. Richard III Society (nd)
Rollason, David & Dobson, R.B., ‘Cuthbert [St Cuthbert] (c.635–687)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004. URL: http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/6976 Date accessed: 18 July 2011
Sutton, Anne F. & Visser Fuchs, Livia, The Hours of Richard III. Alan Sutton Publishing Ltd (first published 1990, paperback 1996)
Death of Richard III’s wife Anne Neville at Westminster, probably of tuberculosis. She was buried at Westminster Abbey, but the location of her grave is unknown. It is often said that Richard openly wept at her funeral, though the origin of this assumption is unclear. There is a plaque for her at Westminster Abbey donated by the Richard III Society. Unfortunately it does not get mentioned in the audio guide, so you have to look out for it.
The illustration on the left is from the in memoriam card which accompanied the wreath for Queen Anne’s tomb at Westminster in 2007. (© Richard III Society)
Meeting of Richard’s only Parliament
The meeting of Richard III’s only parliament at Westminster in the presence of the King began on 23 January 1484. It had been summoned on 9 December 1483 and would be dissolved on 20 February 1484.
Attending were 37 Lords and 10 Judges (including the Attorney General) as well as 296 members of the Commons. It was opened by a speech from Chancellor Russel. This parliament ratified Richard’s title by Titulus Regius. The rebels from the October 1483 rebellion were attainted.
Of interest are the 15 public statutes of this parliament, which included ending benevolences, protecting land purchase rights, reforming the justice system, preventing commercial dishonesty in the cloth trade, protecting English merchants, and preventing fraudulent collection practices. However, while trying to limit the activities of foreign merchants in England, the statutes included a proviso, exempting all merchants and craftsmen concerned in the book trade from the scope of the Act.
Richard’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, William Catesby was chosen to be the speaker of the Commons; and the receiver of petitions was Thomas Barowe, who had been in Richard’s service since at least 1471, who was also Master of the Rolls.
Christopher Puplick, ‘He Contents the People Wherever He Goes: Richard III, his parliament and government’, The Chronicles of the White Rose: Journal of the New South Wales Branch of the Richard III Society, Vol.2 (2008/09), pp.14-32
Anne Sutton, ‘Richards III’s Parliament’, Richard III Society. URL: http://www.richardiii.net/2_3_0_riii_leadership.php#parliament Date accessed: 14 May 2013
Susan L. Troxell, ‘The Tenth Coin: Richard III’s Parliament and Public Statutes’, Ricardian Register, Vol.44, No.4 (December 2013), pp.8-16
D. Woodger, ‘The Statutes of Richard III’s Parliament’, The Richard III Society of Canada (September 1997). URL: http://home.cogeco.ca/~richardiii/ Date accessed: 17 Nov. 2011 (under ‘Newsletters and Papers’)