Historical accuracy please!

I very much agree with Alan Carcas that Yorkshire’s King should be buried in York.

However, Mr Carcas’ argument is rather spoiled by historical inaccuracy. My degree, by the way, is in history with special subject Richard III.

Richard III was never Duke of York although both his father and his nephew were called Richard Duke of York. Richard was Duke of Gloucester (Shakespeare got that right in his glorious piece of Tudor propaganda) and there is a plaque to him in Gloucester, unveiled by the current Duke of Gloucester who is also called Richard and who should be guest of honour at a state funeral at York Minster. Our king was of course not born in Yorkshire but grew up at Middleham and is an honorary Tyke.

Mr Carcas’ statement that the Woodville Clan would benefit from the murder of the children is ludicrous as the mother of the boys was Elizabeth Woodville whose marriage’ to Edward IV led to power for her brothers and sons by her first marriage.

A living Edward V was essential to their maintenance of power and they certainly got no benefit from the usurpation of Henry Tudor who locked his mother-in-law up in a convent. The basis of Richard’s claim to the throne is that the Woodville marriage was invalid and the children illegitimate. There is no evidence which would stand in a court of law as to whether the children were murdered or who might have done it and most sources for accusations against Richard were written after his death. However Henry Tudor claimed to be king by right of conquest, since illegitimacy on both sides of his family gave him no legal claim to the throne. His subsequent marriage to the boys’ sister would strengthen his position if she were legitimate but only if her brothers were not alive, thus Henry Tudor had much to gain by their deaths but again there is no evidence. Certainly the Tudors as a family were experts in removing anyone with a better claim to the throne than them and there were many.

Finally I did miss the promised interview on Look North with ‘one of Richard’s descendants,’ but he had none. His legitimate son died as a sickly child and his only illegitimate, John of Gloucester, was polished off by Henry Tudor without heirs. The dentist matched by DNA was descended from Richard’s sister Anne but his brother Edward IV had lots of descendants through his granddaughter Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scots, so any of the present royal family would have been as related as the Canadian dentist.

AC Gooder

Slaithwaite Road