Sunday, December 22, 2019

The Death of Richard Plantagenet

The Death of Richard Plantagenet

      Today marks the anniversary of the death in 1550 of the obscure man known as Richard Plantagenet. He may have been the illegitimate son of King Richard III.

      The legend is that he was raised with no knowledge of his father’s identity until he was some 16 years old. Then, on the eve of the Battle of Bosworth, he was brought to the Yorkish camp where he met Richard the Third.  Richard is purported to have told him that he was his son, and that after the battle he would be so acknowledged.  As Richard was a widower, his wife Anne Neville having died, he was a king without an heir.  As matters would come to pass, of course, Richard fell at the battle of Bosworth Field, allowing Henry Tudor, to be Henry VII, to assume the thrown. 

     There is an alternative story in which Richard Plantagenet was one of the two Princes in the Tower, the sons of Edward IV.  For myself this is unlikely.  Richard’s reign was dependent upon the illegitimacy of the Princes; elsewhere each had a better claim to the monarchy than did he.  Only with them out of the way would his reign be safe; a living son of Edward VI was a threat to  his legitimacy, evidenced by Henry VII’s issues with Edward Plantagenet, Lambert Simnel, Perkin Warbeck, etc.

      Richard would lead an obscure life as a bricklayer.

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