Oxted & District History Society - Talk
Oxted & District History Society

Anne Milton-Worssell, of the Open University, gave an illustrated lecture to the Oxted & District History Society on ‘Unpicking the Mystery of Richard III’.

In Shakespeare’s ‘Richard III’, Richard is portrayed as a grossly misshapen murderer, conforming to Tudor propaganda.  Thomas More had previously written a damning biography.  Richard had a bone disease which can produce some deformities but as an able military commander he was not as deformed as portrayed by Shakespeare.

After the death of Edward IV, a majority of peers wanted a protectorate until Edward V reached adulthood.  However Richard disposed of those who stood in his way in 1483, Lord Hastings after a claimed plot, Edward IV’s Queen’s brother, then Buckingham, after a rebellion in the autumn, all without trial and all those involved lost their lands and succession rights.  Richard claimed that Edward IV was illegitimate, then that Edward had been previously married so that his sons were illegitimate and was crowned as Richard III in July.  The Duke of Clarence,  Richard’s brother, was murdered and the two princes were last seen in the Tower in the summer of 1483.  Most contemporaries thought that Richard was directly or indirectly responsible for their deaths.  By the time of the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, many leading Yorkists had been wiped out and even Richard’s northern baronial supporters deserted him.


Un-picking the Mystery 0f Richard III- By Anne Milton-Worssell