Author Topic: Richard III remains found & identified  (Read 143935 times)

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Offline Janet Ashton

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Re: Richard III remains found & identified
« Reply #105 on: February 14, 2013, 12:41:43 PM »
-- although in Richard's case, he really was beloved in the North, and they were loyal enough to York to participate in more than one uprising.



And one of the really fascinating aspects of the bones being found is to see how Richard has now become a instrument in arguments over the "north-south divide". I knew that if I looked before long I would find someone posting (not as dispassionate observation but as a piece of point-scoring):
"The southerners hated OUR king and made up lies about him"
 - and sure enough, I've found it....(in the comments section on a New Statesman blog I believe, if anyone's interested)

Returning to the Romanov analogy again, a lot of people seemed surprised at how raw feelings about Nicholas II were when HIS body was found, though it hardly surprising as it was barely a lifetime since his death...It's more remarkable to see Richard "participating" in arguments every bit as bitter after half a millenium....
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Offline Louis_Charles

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Re: Richard III remains found & identified
« Reply #106 on: February 14, 2013, 12:49:22 PM »
Charisma. Everywhere you look, charisma.

Although in Nicholas' case, the bodies are "discovered" (as in made public) at exactly the right time, and no, I am not suggesting a conspiracy. Meaning only that it was a handy way to discredit the old regime so recently passing away. They killed that beautiful family! Those innocent children! Although no one ever seems to weep all that much over Trupp, Kharitonov, Botkin and Demidova, who were just as shot.
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Offline Janet Ashton

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Re: Richard III remains found & identified
« Reply #107 on: February 14, 2013, 12:55:52 PM »
Dear Janet,

I think the position of the King was transformed under the Tudors into a far more centralized monarchy than any medieval monarch would have known, thanks to the efforts of Wolsey, Cromwell and Cecil (Burghley). There is the Reformation; I doubt that any Plantagent could have conceived making the church essentially an arm of the state. There is the relationship of Richard to the nobility, who are still exercising a great deal of power right up until Bosworth --- and then spend the next 80 or 90 years having the daylights kicked out of them by Henry VII, VIII and Elizabeth, along with the rise of a powerful middle class whose interests would only have been nascent to Richard. He simply wasn't a Londoner, and by the Tudors, London was the center of royal power. I really doubt that Richard ever conceived that only London could have been that center, or he wouldn't have been so devoted to northern interests.
There are similarities --- both Richard and the Tudors had to deal with Scottish insurgency, and a few other things, but on the whole, I think you can safely use the image of the last Plantagenet king staggering around a battlefield calling for a horse as the death knell of the traditional medieval monarchy.

Simon

Thank you Simon, this is interesting, and I agree with a lot of it.

I think there is some recent scholarship (Rosemary Horrox, maybe?) exploring how some Tudor reforms built on things that Richard did vis a vis strengthening the monarchy. She also observes that he took a lot of support from relatively lowly followers, outside the aristocracy, and raised them personally. I have yet to read her book; until recently, I hadn't been near this topic in years, so while I recall all the arguments about Princes in Towers, legitimacy and the Titulus Regius, I am only now looking at the monarch he was to his subjects.

Interestingly, one of his biographers points out that being killed on the battlefield was extremely rare for a king in ANY age (they always led from the rear), and that Richard may have been following a recent Spanish example in leading a knight's charge directly at the enemy. Unfortunately, with less success.
Shake your chains to earth like dew
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Ye are many; they are few.

Offline Louis_Charles

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Re: Richard III remains found & identified
« Reply #108 on: February 14, 2013, 01:03:13 PM »
Interesting. I've always assumed that he fought as he had always fought, and in a way that someone who was being groomed as the successor would not have been permitted to fight. Richard had been in combat during the civil wars and wounded, and I just concluded that old instincts die hard.

I am familiar with the reliance upon non-traditional supporters, but I have always thought that was because it was his natural power base --- he simply was not going to pull in much of the southern nobility. Also, and this is the more important point, his reign is so brief (and unexpected by everyone, himself included) that I don't think you can make a lot of useful policy extrapolations based upon 18 months.
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Offline Janet Ashton

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Re: Richard III remains found & identified
« Reply #109 on: February 14, 2013, 02:16:14 PM »

I am familiar with the reliance upon non-traditional supporters, but I have always thought that was because it was his natural power base --- he simply was not going to pull in much of the southern nobility. Also, and this is the more important point, his reign is so brief (and unexpected by everyone, himself included) that I don't think you can make a lot of useful policy extrapolations based upon 18 months.

True - but then Henry VIII's move to make the Church an instrument of state was due to dynastic interest rather than specific policy to strengthen national autonomy - so I'd see a lot of happenstance in all of this, brought about or made possible by the changes in their societies. It's an evolution.

It might be possible to say what Richard intended where his policy as king follows on from actions as Lord of the North?

- Rosemary Horrox's view of him is that he was completely out of his depth as king, and essentially panicked. It may be her or it may be someone else who argued that this is the key to his character - by nature, he was thoughtful, merciful and pious, and when in control as a ruler he was able to demonstrate this; but when he felt he'd lost control he could be extremely ruthless (the treatment of Hastings et al attests to this, even if you leave aside the infamous Question of You-Know-Who), but not really effectively so. I am not sure at this stage if I agree - need to read more again - but it's certainly interesting.

Speaking of charisma, am I the only person who has never "got" the appeal of Henry VIII? I don't find him even fascinating as a monster...and I don't understand the endless tv series ad historical novels about the brute! As someone said, if ever there was a British monarch who deserved to be assassinated, it was Henry VIII (though I'd put William the Conqueror up there too; in this day and age, he'd be up at The Hague on charges of genocide).
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you -
Ye are many; they are few.

Offline Janet Ashton

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Re: Richard III remains found & identified
« Reply #110 on: February 14, 2013, 02:58:42 PM »
On a lighter and more picturesque note, here for your delectation is a scene from Richard's "kingdom for a horse" in North Yorkshire this week: -

http://metro.co.uk/2013/02/11/gallery-winter-weather-and-snow-across-the-uk-february-11th-2013-3402306/ay_103527760-jpg/
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you -
Ye are many; they are few.

Offline Tsarfan

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Re: Richard III remains found & identified
« Reply #111 on: February 14, 2013, 03:08:23 PM »
Part of the charisma may stem from a sentimental transformation of the victim --- and it is usually a victim --- into a figure that would have been unrecognizable to his/her contemporaries . . . .

I agree, but I would argue this is the charisma of the memory, not of the person.  In fact, I think it is possible to view charisma as something that flows not downward from the person credited with it, but as something that flows upward from the audience who conjures it to fill a need they perceive.


Back to charisma; at least part of it is charm, which Hitler certainly did not have (most people in the inner circle were bored by him in social situations . . . .).

Hitler is an interesting case.  While he could certainly be a boor to some in close quarters, one has to remember that some of his entourage were willing to kill themselves and their children in service of the dream with which he inspired them.  And there are simply too many contemporary reports of the mesmerizing effect he could have on crowds to dismiss him as uncharismatic.  Given what we now know of his true personality, it would seem an illustration of the point that charisma is actually a phatasm of the viewer rather than a trait of the viewed.

Alexandra is almost the inverse case to Hitler.  Known by her intimates as kind, thoughtful, in possession of a sense of humor, she was vilified by the public as a nagging, interfering harpy who kept doubtful company.

In fact, I think Max Weber's seminal definition suggests the same view:  "Charisma...a certain quality of an individual personality by virtue of which he is set apart from ordinary men and treated as endowed with supernatural, superhuman, or at least specifically exceptional powers or qualities. These are such as are not accessible to the ordinary person, but are regarded as of divine origin or as exemplary, and on the basis of them the individual concerned is treated as a leader."

As a person who does not believe in supernatural or superhuman powers, or even the granting by God of special powers to specific individuals, I find it much more reasonable to locate charisma in the audience's perception than in the actor's gifts.

People who show up on one list or another of charismatic leaders (and they vary widely) seem disproportionately to be people who met a violent or ignominious end: Julius Caesar, Richard III, Napoleon, Hitler, Nicholas II, Lincoln, Eva Peron, Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jim Jones, David Koresh, Charles Manson . . . Jesus.  As Louis Charles noted, becoming a victim is a giant step up the ladder to charismatic status.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2013, 03:12:51 PM by Tsarfan »

Offline Tsarfan

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Re: Richard III remains found & identified
« Reply #112 on: February 14, 2013, 03:12:17 PM »
Speaking of charisma, am I the only person who has never "got" the appeal of Henry VIII?

Nope, I'm with you on this one.

It's the Ivan IV Effect:  "beat me, whip me . . . just tell me that you love me."

Offline Louis_Charles

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Re: Richard III remains found & identified
« Reply #113 on: February 14, 2013, 03:40:55 PM »
I'm hurt, Tsarfan. I'm not on your list of people with charisma?
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Offline Tsarfan

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Re: Richard III remains found & identified
« Reply #114 on: February 14, 2013, 04:48:45 PM »
I'm hurt, Tsarfan. I'm not on your list of people with charisma?

You will be.  But you have to die first.

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Richard III remains found & identified
« Reply #115 on: February 15, 2013, 03:24:58 AM »

'Interestingly, one of his biographers points out that being killed on the battlefield was extremely rare for a king in ANY age (they always led from the rear), and that Richard may have been following a recent Spanish example in leading a knight's charge directly at the enemy. Unfortunately, with less success.'

Hm, not sure about this. Agreed that it was rare for kings to be killed in battle, but I'm not convinced that they all led from the rear. It was relatively unusual in medieval warfare for leading noblemen to be killed, if only because they were easily identifiable from their coats of arms and far more valuable if captured and held for ransom. It was during the Wars of the Roses that the casualty rate among the upper classes shot up because the morals of the day moved from capturing them to killing them. Further, pitched battles were also fairly rare. Sieges were far more usual, and unless there was a final assualt led by a king, he would not be in too much danger. But Richard I died from a wound received during a siege (his own fault for exposing himself too readily), Henry V's brother and heir presumptive, Thomas, Duke of Clarence, was killed during a skirmish. Somewhat later, King Sebastian of Portugal was killed in battle in North Africa (his army was overwhelmed), and Gustavus Adophus of Sweden was killed at Lutzen in 1632 while leading a charge. Plus James IV of Scots was killed at Flodden in 1513 (another military disaster).

Ann

Offline Louis_Charles

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Re: Richard III remains found & identified
« Reply #116 on: February 15, 2013, 11:17:42 AM »
I'm hurt, Tsarfan. I'm not on your list of people with charisma?

You will be.  But you have to die first.

I will stay happily dull, then.
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Offline Tsarfan

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Re: Richard III remains found & identified
« Reply #117 on: February 15, 2013, 11:26:43 AM »
Never dull, good sir.  Just not yet fully charismatic.

Bones askew in dirt . . . that's the recipe.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 11:28:25 AM by Tsarfan »

Offline Louis_Charles

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Re: Richard III remains found & identified
« Reply #118 on: February 15, 2013, 11:29:10 AM »
I feel as though all I would have to do is yell, "Wonder Twin powers, activate!"

Meanwhile . . . the hour-long BBC documentary on Richard in the Carpark has been uploaded to youtube. I know what I will be doing for the next 60 minutes.
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Offline TimM

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Re: Richard III remains found & identified
« Reply #119 on: February 15, 2013, 11:30:04 AM »
Quote
Agreed that it was rare for kings to be killed in battle

Wasn't Richard III the last British king to die in battle?


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