Home / Tag Archives: King Richard III

Tag Archives: King Richard III

England under the Tudors 1485-1603

tudor

IN AUGUST of 1485, Henry Tudor landed on the Welsh coast to fight King Richard III for the crown of England. Henry was twenty-nine years old, lean and golden-haired, with a merry face. He was head of the Lancaster family, which had so far been defeated by King Richard’s family, York, in the Wars of the Roses. Henry was counting on help from many Englishmen and Welshmen who hated Richard. They believed Richard had hacked his way to the throne by murdering his nephews, they resented his taxes and rich living and they called him the “great hog” or “great boar.” Many Welshmen immediately joined the Lancaster chief, hopefully shouting, “King Henry! King Henry!” and “Down with the bragging white boar!” Henry marched north into England, gathering new followers. Richard mocked Henry’s troops as a few “faint hearted Frenchmen and beggarly Britons.” Even so, he raised a large army and advanced to Bosworth Field near Henry’s camp. When Richard roused his troops for battle on the morning of August 21, they stretched out, as a chronicler said, “a wonderful length,” so that the sight of the massed footmen and horsemen sent a thrill of horror through Henry’s camp. On a knoll overlooking the countryside, Henry stirred his men to fight. He told them not to be dismayed by Richard’s large army. Painting to Richard’s camp, he said that there was a thief who had stolen the crown and now must surely fail. Against “yonder tyrant” his soldiers must advance “like true men against traitors . . . scourges of God against tyrants.” Then Henry led his men to the attack. They marched with the archers in the centre and the foot soldiers on the right protected by a marshy bog. They advanced so that the sun was behind them and …

Read More »

The Rise of Nationalism 1272 – l485

tudor

JOAN OF ARC did more than inspire the French to drive out the English; her words and actions helped to advance a new idea. During most of the Middle Ages, people did not think of themselves as belonging to a nation. They thought of themselves as members of a church and subjects of a lord. Then, as trade increased, as towns and cities grew‚ as merchants’ and craftsmen’s guilds were formed‚ the forms of society began to change. The barons began to lose some of their power‚ while the kings gained more. Gradually, people begin to think of themselves as part of a nation and a new idea rose — the idea of nationalism. Joan fought not for a single lord or a single community. She fought for France as a whole, for France as a nation and her allegiance was to the king as head of that nation. It was this, as much as her success on the battlefield that frightened the barons of England and made the nobles of France uneasy. They realized that once the idea of nationalism took hold, feudalism would be done for and they with it. Nationalism grew stronger as kings grew stronger; a strong monarch unified his people and gave them a feeling of belonging to a nation. The barons did not give up their power easily and often there were rivals for the throne. In England this led to a long period of conflict known as the Wars of the Roses, which from 1455 to 1485. The name came from the emblems of the two families that that fought to rule England. The emblem of the house of York was a white rose; the emblem of the house of Lancaster, a red rose. The causes of the struggle between the two families …

Read More »
Translate »