Wel­come

All About History - - CONTENTS - Jack Par­sons Ed­i­tor

To­day Richard III is com­monly re­mem­bered for two things: his part in the dis­ap­pear­ance of the Princes in the Tower, and for be­ing the ‘car park king’ whose re­mains were un­cov­ered in Le­ices­ter in 2012. Less well known, how­ever, is that he was the last English king to die in bat­tle.

Richard was a sea­soned war­rior whose death at Bos­worth in 1485, at the hands of Henry Tu­dor, was his only known de­feat. While the way in which Richard usurped the throne led his en­e­mies to de­pict him as a mon­strous vil­lain, they couldn’t deny he was a for­mi­da­ble soldier. For in­stance, the con­tem­po­rary his­to­rian John Rous, who went as far to com­pare Richard to the An­tichrist, ad­mit­ted “if I may say the truth to his credit, though small in body and fee­ble of limb, he bore him­self like a gal­lant knight and acted with distinc­tion as his own cham­pion un­til his last breath”.

In this month’s is­sue, we ex­plore how con­flict – and the 30-year power strug­gle we call the Wars of the Roses, in par­tic­u­lar – shaped Richard III’S en­tire life. From wit­ness­ing the siege of his home by Lan­cas­trian forces aged seven, to learn­ing the art of war in the Scot­tish bor­der­lands as a teen, to fight­ing side by side with his brother at Tewkes­bury, and fi­nally de­fend­ing his own crown. Turn to page 32 to read all about it!

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