The reign of Richard III

The reign of Richard III the successes and failures, with summary and historiography

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  • Created by: Amy
  • Created on: 20-04-13 15:27
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  • The Reign of Richard III: Successes and Failures
    • Successes
      • He decided to continue the campaign against Scotland, which had begun in the previous reign and was probably motivated by his wish to be revealed as a conquering hero and a worthy king of England
      • He made a commitment to the principle of bail for suspected felons and the abolition of benevolences.To try and encourage nobility support
      • He banned Benevolences which aimed to prove loyalty to nobles and improve his image to hopefully increase his popularity among them
      • He introduced polices that protected  English produces and traders against foreign imports
      • He started a good diplomatic plan between Brittany and England, so that Henry Tudor would be handed over
      • For the Buckingham Rebellion he had an impressive army that marched South to suppress the revolt, which they did without having to fight!
      • He cultivated his image to be a pious,   God fearing man and not just a monarch. He sought to prevent over-mighty nobles and was an experienced fighter.
      • He promoted Justice for all which he proclaimed at York 1483
    • Failures
      • His planned assault on Scotland largely fizzled out in the early summer of 1484. This was due to his son and heir dying in April. The invasion then became less ambitious, so what followed was inglorious and culminated in the defeat of the small English army.
      • His Financial skills lacked, he spent on forming a large army that was never used, he had to borrow money from merchants and foreign bankers and forced loans upon the rich nobility. He spent the money Edward IV had saved during his reign. Richard was known as extravagant and spent excess on his friends at court
      • He also lost support from some of his original supporters due to him becoming friendly with the woodville faction again. The Nursery rhyme about him: The rat, The cat and Lovell the dog rule in England under a Hog.
      • He had a damaged image from the start due to the disappearance of the princes in the tower, then his wife dying and the rumors of her being poisoned by him and then to top it off, his declaration of wanting to marry his niece Elizabeth of York which raised the idea of incest!
        • Also the Nobility disliked the Woodville Faction, which if Richard married Elizabeth, they would come into power again.
      • Although the diplomatic plan with Brittany was good it was not successful due to the news of the plan reaching Henry and him running to France where he gained support from the French King and  became even more of a threat. Therefore causing the ultimate failure for Richard.
      • He made the wrong decision to give power to Northerners through giving them the sotherners land.
        • This created a NORTH/SOUTH DIVIDE. Southerners didn't like Richard overtaking their land and they became fed up of the king. He sent Northerners to strengthen his powerbase which disgruntled the southerners more. This led to them helping Henry Tudor when he landed in 1485
      • He doesn't follow the rules of the land himself.
        • Examples of this: The usurpation of Edward V , confiscating land from Buckingham's supporters without passing acts of attainder's and executing people without trial eg. Earl Rivers Lord Hastings
    • Historiography on Richard III
      • A.F Pollard wrote a balanced assessment: "he was neither a hateful child-murderer, nor a paragon of contemporary virtue"
      • Sean Cunningham: "Richard's character and personality was formed within a period of shocking civil conflict"             "To his credit he remained stead fastly loyal to his brother during 1469-71 but the vivid demonstration of squabbling and betrayal... must have left a lasting impression on the adolescent Duke"
      • Shakespeare's play wrote of Richard III's character: "I am determined to prove the villain"
      • Rous Rolls: originally he described Richard III as a "model king who was loved by his subjects and famed for his justice" but revised his comments after Henry VII came to the throne and described him as a "cruel" king
      • Thomas More  wrote "he was a malicious, wrathful, envious, and afore his birth ever forward"
    • Summary
      • As we never got to fully see whether Richard would have been a successful monarch  a judgement cannot truly be made, but with all the contradicting evidence shown through all his failures. One could suggest that he may never have been successful and that the usurpation by Henry Tudor was Richard's  just desert and the saving grace for England.
        • Part 2 to Summary
      • Even though Richard had many good policies and successes or near successes throughout his reign, it made no difference. Whether this was due to the reign being so short lived or Richard's bad management of the crown, we cannot know.
        • Part 1 to summary



Thank you :)

detailed yet too-the-point - just what I needed

great historiography as well!

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