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Murph Roxane
Richard III: The Making of a Legend
page 11

Richard first encountered huge Sir John Cheney, felled him with his axe, and pushed on toward the pretender. Tudor recoiled from the sight of the slight, menacing figure slashing with his battle axe through the guards.[70] Richard reached William Brandon, Henry's standard bearer, and struck him down. Just as Richard and his knights reached their target, the troops of Sir William Stanley bore down on them. Part of the king's men turned to meet the cavalry charge, and Richard and the rest of his men pressed on toward Tudor. Suddenly, his men began to fall about him, hacked by the weapons of their enemies. "Treason! Treason" cried the king as he pressed on toward his rival. With all his household knights dead or wounded, he fought on until the blows of a dozen weapons smashed and hacked at him through his armor and beat him down to the ground.[71]
After the battle, according to legend, Sir William Stanley retrieved Richard's golden crown from under a bramble bush and placed it on the head of Henry Tudor. Richard's naked body, cted with blood from his many wounds and with a felon's halter around the neck, was slung across the back of a horse and taken to Leicester.[72] For two days the body lay at the Grey Friars, exposed for all to see, until the friars finally received permission to bury it in an unmarked grave. Years later, Henry VII allotted the sum of ten pounds and one shilling to raise a modest tomb for the man he had displaced. At the dissolution of the monasteries in the reign of Henry VIII, Richard's tomb was destroyed and his remains were thrown into the River Soar.[73]
There are the essential facts concerning the life and reign of Richard III. But a mere recounting of the facts leaves several important questions unanswered. What became of the princes in the Tower? Were they murdered and, if so, who was responsible for the crime? Must Richard take, or share, responsibility for the deaths of Edward of Lancaster, Henry VI, Clarence, and his wife Anne? What sort of man was Richard, physically, emotionally, and mentally? Many different theories have been suggested to answer each of these questions over the past five hundred years. Some of them show great imagination, and an equally great ignorance of the facts. In many cases, the answers are based on the writers' own interpretation or selection of the facts. [Ed. Note: In later chapters Murph explores the techniques vy which many historians and authors attempted to resolve the questions concerning Richard III and his reign, and their underlying motivations.]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- About the Author: Roxane C. Murph is immediate past chairman of the American Branch of the Richard III Society. She is also the author of The Wars of the Roses in Fiction (Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group, 1995) and the editor of Richard and Anne: A Play in Two Acts by Maxwell Anderson (Jefferson NC and London: McFarland Publishing, 1995). Notes [1] Croyland Chronicle, p. 483.
[2] Ibid., p. 484.
[3] Sir Thomas More, The History of King Richard III, in The Complete Works of St. Thomas More, ed. by Richard S. Sylvester, vol. II (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1963), p. 13.
[4] Mancini, The Usurpation of Richard III, pp. 71, 73.
[5] Croyland Chronicle, p. 485.
[6] Mancini, The Usurpation of Richard III, p. 73.
[7] Kendall, Richard III, p. 73.
[8] Ibid., p. 195.
[9] Croyland Chronicle, p. 486.
[10] Kendall, Richard III, p. 196.
[11] Ibid., pp. 197- 198.
[12] Ibid., p. 200.
[13] Ibid., p. 201.
[14] Mancini, The Usurpation of Richard III, p. 73.
[15] Kendall, Richard III, p. 203.
[16] Croyland Chronicle, p. 486.
[17] Ibid., p. 487.
[18] Kendall, Richard III, p. 212.
[19] Croyland Chronicle, pp. 486- 487.
[20] More, History of King Richard III, p. 21.
[21] Croyland Chronicle, pp. 487- 488.
[22] Ibid.
[23] Kendall, Richard III, p. 235.
[24] Ibid., pp. 223-224.
[25] This is Kendall's analysis of Buckingham's influence and position during the Protectorship. See ibid., pp. 227-228.

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