LIC Blog

Two Little Boys: Part 1, Richard's Tale


Tudor apologists have been incredibly successful in playing on the feelings of generations of men and women via the myth of the murder of the two eldest sons of King Edward IV by Elizabeth Woodville. In this they have been aided and abetted by Shakespeare's fictionalised version of the Fifteenth Century. 

It is high time that two other little boys came before their hearts.

Two children whose lives were blighted by the events of December 1460.

Two little boys whose hearts were turned in opposite directions by another double murder.


Richard's Tale

Richard was only 8 years old when it happened.

The baby of the family.

He'd been upset to see his father leave for the North at the beginning of December, but he was a busy man.

It had been far worse to say goodbye to his eldest brothers. One went with their father. The other left for the Welsh Marches. They would not be home at Christmas. Richard would miss them bitterly. They were the very life and soul of any festivities, but always made time for their youngest brother.

But they were 17 and 18 years old. Grown men, who had to help their father to bear the heavy burden of his office.

As they rode away Richard knew that the house would be very quiet without them. 

Still there was always brother George!

At 10 years old George was quite capable of taking care of Richard. But as Richard knew George was as likely to tease him as to put a reassuring arm about his shoulder.

Sister Meg was far more reliable in Richard's eyes. She had not been averse to cuffing George around the ear at need. And she was like a second mother to him.

January was less than a week old when Richard heard his mother scream. A terrible heart-rending cry. He'd never heard her utter such a wail of desolation. She was always composed and in control. Stopping at the door of the Solar, he found George already with his ears pressed to the crack in the door. Dropping to his knees he squeezed between George's legs to see his mother.

She paced the room like a tigres, tears pouring down her face, her hands shredding a lace cloth in her agony. Next to the roaring fire stood two of his uncles, their faces carved in stone. The younger, Johnny, showed fierce grief and anger in his face.

Words tumbled into his ears.

His father dead.

Edmund at 17 dead.

Not just dead but killed.

Killed and ...

At those words Richard clamped his small hands over his ears and ran. He didn't stop running until he reached the safety of the chapel altar. That was where Meg found him, sobbing hysterically and shivering with horror.

Safe within Meg's arms his thoughts turned to Ned. His eldest brother had not been with their father when he died. Ned was a giant at 6 foot 5. Ned was safe. No one would harm Richard as long as Ned was around.

No one could.

And no one did.

Within 4 months Ned had taken revenge on those who had butchered their father and Edmund. And Ned now had the unshakeable love and devotion of his 8 year old brother Richard.

Richard, whom he made Duke of Gloucester as a reward for being so brave. 

Richard, the future King of England, and the third of that name.