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Using evidence from the site, and documentary evidence, present your own explanation of what happened on August 22nd 1485

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Introduction

Using evidence from the site, and documentary evidence, present your own explanation of what happened on August 22nd 1485. 1000 -1500 words It is the night of the twenty-first of August, in the year of 1485. Richard the Third, King of England, is having trouble sleeping. Tomorrow, he will have battle with the Lancastrian Henry Tudor, who wants to take the crown from him. Richard is a Yorkist, the sworn enemies of the Lancastrians. According to Polydore Vergil, the contemporary respected Italian historian, he "imagined himself surrounded by a multitude of demons". This is backed up by many other sources. Of course, this could just be lore that then became 'fact', but it is undeniable that King Richard had not legally came into power (by locking and possibly murdering the rightful heirs to the throne in the Tower of London), and it is very possible that he feared his comeuppance for this. Also, there may have been some revolt from his men the night before. Polydore Vergil tells us that, on the evening before the battle, some of Richard's men, "revolting from King Richard, came to Henry with a choice band of armed men". Richard could not help but feel a little bit concerned that he had lost some of his followers. On the morning of the twenty-second of August, according to the Croyland Chronicle, Richard III's camp was in disarray. There were "no chaplains to perform Divine service", "nor any breakfast prepared" for the King, which would have made him feel even worse after his haunting night of bad dreams. ...read more.

Middle

commanded in every rank that no soldiers should go above ten foot from their standards". This protected the forces from both cannon and archer fire of Norfolk, and it meant that Norfolk would have to go down a potentially hazardous slope to attack. But despite being vulnerable, Norfolk did indeed invoke an attack on Henry's armies down the steep slope. Within one hour, he himself was dead, and his army had been fended off. The armies were at a stalemate. But there was, in fact, another extremely large force, hereto unmentioned, involved in the Battle of Bosworth: Lord Thomas and Sir William Stanley. Both the Ricardian and the Tudor side would expect the Stanleys to help their side; William Stanley was married to Henry Tudor's mother, Margaret Beaufort, and the relationship between the King and his subjects meant that the Stanleys would be expected to ally with the King. But the Stanleys refused to announce to either side where their alliances lay. The Stanleys, according to Polydore Vergil, were camped "in the mid way betwixt the two battles", so it was unclear as to which side they would be fighting on. We can see this from To ensure their support, Richard ordered the kidnap of Lord Stanley's eldest son, Lord Strange. The king then sent a message to Lord Stanley threatening to execute Lord Strange unless he immediately sent his troops to join the king in battle. ...read more.

Conclusion

After the battle, the Earl of Northumberland was accused of being a traitor to King Richard. The pro-Henry historian, Jean de Molinet, wrote that he "ought to have charged the French but did nothing except to flee". I do not believe that this is entirely fair - upon visiting the site, I believe that there was no reasonable way that Northumberland could have got involved which would have been tactically viable; his battle line was located far away from where all of the action took place. The Croyland Chronicle reports that despite having many troops under Northumberland, "there was no opposition made, as not a blow was given or received during the battle", which seems to agree with my view. But Richard's last words were, according to John Rous, "Treason! Treason! Treason!"; this was taken to be referring to Northumberland and he was indeed later murdered by Yorkists. According to Vergil, Richard's body was brought, dangling naked from a horse, "to th'abbey of monks Franciscans at Leicester... and there was buried two days after without any pomp or solemn funeral". According to tradition, one of the Stanley discovered the crown of Richard under a gorse bush, and placed it on Henry's head. It is unclear as to "Thomas Stanley... set anon King Richard's crown...apon his h ad." Contrastingly, the Great Chronicle of London states: "Sir William Stanley... came straight to King Henry and set it [the crown] apon his head. Thus, although we do not know which, we can be fairly sure that a Stanley family member crowned Henry. And thus, Henry Tudor became Henry the Seventh, King of England, and began the Tudor dynasty. ...read more.

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