Richard III Research and Discussion Archive

Back to Stony Stratford

2018-08-24 11:45:17
hjnatdat

The great god of motorway roadworks wafted me onto yet another of the routes mentioned when we were contemplating Rivers' and young Edward's potential journey from Ludlow. That is of course if Rivers did come from there and not East Anglia. .


It's the Cotswolds' wool route from Evesham, through Southam, Banbury and Deddington to Oxford - sorry Doug, I think it's something like the A423, and it's the obvious route you'd take if you were heading from Ludlow. So it was a chance to see whether Rivers had any advantage in deviating eastwards to the A5 and Northampton.


And the answer would seem to be not. For a start it runs closer to Coventry which had a special relationship with young Edward and all the above towns/villages are much more substantial for hosting troops and supplies than those on the A5. You could then carry straight on to the capital by Windsor and the Thames Valley. The terrain is as good as the A5 and in some bits more pleasant.


So even if Rivers did come from Ludlow it would suggest that he had a need to get to Northampton. Now JAH speculates that it was a pre-arranged meeting with Richard but to fix such a meeting would surely carry a degree of risk of one of them hanging around potentially for a day or so? Which suggests to me that Anthony may have stayed at Grafton to make his plans and when he heard of Richard approaching Northampton suggested a meeting there? With the King safely out of the way?


BTW I've still not found any further info on the William Clifton Commission in March. He never crops up again in the CPR. H



.....

Re: {Disarmed} [Richard III Society Forum] Back to Stony Stratford

2018-08-26 16:44:09
Doug Stamate

Hilary wrote:

The great god of motorway roadworks wafted me onto yet another of the routes mentioned when we were contemplating Rivers' and young Edward's potential journey from Ludlow. That is of course if Rivers did come from there and not East Anglia. .

It's the Cotswolds' wool route from Evesham, through Southam, Banbury and Deddington to Oxford - sorry Doug, I think it's something like the A423, and it's the obvious route you'd take if you were heading from Ludlow. So it was a chance to see whether Rivers had any advantage in deviating eastwards to the A5 and Northampton.

And the answer would seem to be not. For a start it runs closer to Coventry which had a special relationship with young Edward and all the above towns/villages are much more substantial for hosting troops and supplies than those on the A5. You could then carry straight on to the capital by Windsor and the Thames Valley. The terrain is as good as the A5 and in some bits more pleasant.

Doug here:

The one advantage of the northern route would be that it bypassed the need to cross the Severn; or at least the wider parts of the Severn during spring-time, when one could expect rivers to be running high from the rains. Another point is that we don't know how many people were accompanying Edward from Ludlow. If it was only a couple of hundred, then the ability to house and feed those accompanying Edward would have been about the same. Finally, if the idea was to overawe London with the size of the armed force accompanying Edward, that force had to gathered together at a place that was both on the way to London and yet not too far from the city. Considering Rivers' estates in the Norfolk area, a more northerly route with the two groups uniting at Northampton makes sense.

Hilary concluded:

So even if Rivers did come from Ludlow it would suggest that he had a need to get to Northampton. Now JAH speculates that it was a pre-arranged meeting with Richard but to fix such a meeting would surely carry a degree of risk of one of them hanging around potentially for a day or so? Which suggests to me that Anthony may have stayed at Grafton to make his plans and when he heard of Richard approaching Northampton suggested a meeting there? With the King safely out of the way?

BTW I've still not found any further info on the William Clifton Commission in March. He never crops up again in the CPR.

Doug here:

Well, as it appears Edward did come from Ludlow, and he ended up in Stony Stratford, then the question to be answered is Why that route? I think Marie provided the most likely answer in her post that listed Rivers' whereabouts; the A5 brought Rivers, Vaughan and Edward, and Grey together so they could accompany Edward on his entry into London, escorted by all the troops Rivers had gathered together in the vicinity of Northampton. If the plan was, as has been surmised, to quickly crown Edward and have him remake the Council before Richard could get to London, then the only stumbling block to its success would have been the arrival of Richard in Northampton.

Now we have to consider that there were two groups operating here; each with a different and opposing aims. Rivers' would have been to carry out a coup, hopefully without fighting, and Richard's was to observe protocol and escort his nephew into his (Edward's) capital for his coronation, while he (Richard) assumed his duties as Protector. However, if Richard accomplished his aims, then Rivers would certainly fail in his. Which leads me to believe that the idea of a meeting between Richard and Rivers (and Edward) wasn't originated by Rivers, but by Richard, possibly as simply a spot where everyone could meet together prior to entering London. IOW, the Northampton meeting was, for Rivers, a monkey wrench/spanner in the works, because, needless to say, such a meeting would have completely wrecked the Woodville plans and thus had to be somehow circumvented.

I admit much depends on just when the meeting was arranged, but I see no difficulties raised if we presume Richard originated the idea and sent a message about it to Rivers, with the message arriving too late for Rivers to arrange for Edward's party to avoid Northampton altogether. After all, if the meeting at Northampton had been in the works almost from the beginning, there was no reason for Rivers not to change Edward's route to the capital. Or, even better, for Edward not to be rushed to London via some other, more southerly, route while Richard made for a meeting at Northampton. By the time Richard discovered what was going on, it very likely would have been too late for anything other than a resort to arms over the possession of the young, now crowned, king.

Which is, I think, where the idea of some sort of ambush, using Edward as bait, comes in. If we operate on the presumption that Richard knew, at least roughly, where Rivers was when Richard dispatched his message about meeting at Northampton, and that the message wasn't dispatched until Richard left for London, then Rivers wouldn't have had much time to come up with a solution to his problem. It would have been too late to change Edward's itinerary, for one thing. Another would have been the logistics involved in getting the troops Rivers was gathering together to meet up with Edward's party.

If the meeting at Northampton was previously arranged, no matter whether the time frame was long or short, there was absolutely no reason for Edward to not be at Northampton, presuming his party arrived in the area first, as from all accounts they did. It's only my opinion, but I really think that it was when Richard discovered that Edward was at Stony Stratford and not Northampton that his suspicions were aroused.

Doug
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Re: {Disarmed} [Richard III Society Forum] Back to Stony Stratford

2018-08-27 10:43:37
Hilary Jones
Doug, I think your reasoning is very good.
You see last week I did the third route - Richard's - the old Great North Road now the A1. I joined it at Retford and carried on to York. Now I live in the centre of England and York is still a long way on the modern M1 (about two and a half hours if you're lucky). Using the old route it's a very long way and Richard would no doubt have to go into some of the cities to feed and rest his retinue. By the time he got to Northampton he'd be tired, and that's without the added stress of bereavement.
I just can't see him accepting an invitation from Rivers, either one sent to York (as JAH says) or one delivered on the journey, until he was ready to meet him. Even if at that point he had no definite suspicions around Rivers' intentions I can't see him ceding Rivers the inititiate. Then, as you say, as he grew nearer to Northampton he was probably alerted to Rivers' movements - his scouts and spies could have picked that up. So I agree with you entirely.
I just think it's very sad that all historians so far seem to gloss over the significance of this journey and leap straight on to the events at Stony Stratford as though the rest is a given. H

On Sunday, 26 August 2018, 19:33:04 BST, 'Doug Stamate' destama@... [] <> wrote:


Hilary wrote:

The great god of motorway roadworks wafted me onto yet another of the routes mentioned when we were contemplating Rivers' and young Edward's potential journey from Ludlow. That is of course if Rivers did come from there and not East Anglia. .

It's the Cotswolds' wool route from Evesham, through Southam, Banbury and Deddington to Oxford - sorry Doug, I think it's something like the A423, and it's the obvious route you'd take if you were heading from Ludlow. So it was a chance to see whether Rivers had any advantage in deviating eastwards to the A5 and Northampton.

And the answer would seem to be not. For a start it runs closer to Coventry which had a special relationship with young Edward and all the above towns/villages are much more substantial for hosting troops and supplies than those on the A5. You could then carry straight on to the capital by Windsor and the Thames Valley. The terrain is as good as the A5 and in some bits more pleasant.

Doug here:

The one advantage of the northern route would be that it bypassed the need to cross the Severn; or at least the wider parts of the Severn during spring-time, when one could expect rivers to be running high from the rains.. Another point is that we don't know how many people were accompanying Edward from Ludlow. If it was only a couple of hundred, then the ability to house and feed those accompanying Edward would have been about the same. Finally, if the idea was to overawe London with the size of the armed force accompanying Edward, that force had to gathered together at a place that was both on the way to London and yet not too far from the city. Considering Rivers' estates in the Norfolk area, a more northerly route with the two groups uniting at Northampton makes sense.

Hilary concluded:

So even if Rivers did come from Ludlow it would suggest that he had a need to get to Northampton. Now JAH speculates that it was a pre-arranged meeting with Richard but to fix such a meeting would surely carry a degree of risk of one of them hanging around potentially for a day or so? Which suggests to me that Anthony may have stayed at Grafton to make his plans and when he heard of Richard approaching Northampton suggested a meeting there? With the King safely out of the way?

BTW I've still not found any further info on the William Clifton Commission in March. He never crops up again in the CPR.

Doug here:

Well, as it appears Edward did come from Ludlow, and he ended up in Stony Stratford, then the question to be answered is Why that route? I think Marie provided the most likely answer in her post that listed Rivers' whereabouts; the A5 brought Rivers, Vaughan and Edward, and Grey together so they could accompany Edward on his entry into London, escorted by all the troops Rivers had gathered together in the vicinity of Northampton. If the plan was, as has been surmised, to quickly crown Edward and have him remake the Council before Richard could get to London, then the only stumbling block to its success would have been the arrival of Richard in Northampton.

Now we have to consider that there were two groups operating here; each with a different and opposing aims. Rivers' would have been to carry out a coup, hopefully without fighting, and Richard's was to observe protocol and escort his nephew into his (Edward's) capital for his coronation, while he (Richard) assumed his duties as Protector. However, if Richard accomplished his aims, then Rivers would certainly fail in his. Which leads me to believe that the idea of a meeting between Richard and Rivers (and Edward) wasn't originated by Rivers, but by Richard, possibly as simply a spot where everyone could meet together prior to entering London. IOW, the Northampton meeting was, for Rivers, a monkey wrench/spanner in the works, because, needless to say, such a meeting would have completely wrecked the Woodville plans and thus had to be somehow circumvented.

I admit much depends on just when the meeting was arranged, but I see no difficulties raised if we presume Richard originated the idea and sent a message about it to Rivers, with the message arriving too late for Rivers to arrange for Edward's party to avoid Northampton altogether. After all, if the meeting at Northampton had been in the works almost from the beginning, there was no reason for Rivers not to change Edward's route to the capital. Or, even better, for Edward not to be rushed to London via some other, more southerly, route while Richard made for a meeting at Northampton. By the time Richard discovered what was going on, it very likely would have been too late for anything other than a resort to arms over the possession of the young, now crowned, king.

Which is, I think, where the idea of some sort of ambush, using Edward as bait, comes in. If we operate on the presumption that Richard knew, at least roughly, where Rivers was when Richard dispatched his message about meeting at Northampton, and that the message wasn't dispatched until Richard left for London, then Rivers wouldn't have had much time to come up with a solution to his problem. It would have been too late to change Edward's itinerary, for one thing. Another would have been the logistics involved in getting the troops Rivers was gathering together to meet up with Edward's party.

If the meeting at Northampton was previously arranged, no matter whether the time frame was long or short, there was absolutely no reason for Edward to not be at Northampton, presuming his party arrived in the area first, as from all accounts they did. It's only my opinion, but I really think that it was when Richard discovered that Edward was at Stony Stratford and not Northampton that his suspicions were aroused.

Doug
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Re: {Disarmed} [Richard III Society Forum] Back to Stony Stratford

2018-08-27 10:47:41
Hilary Jones
Sorry 'initiative' Blooming predictive text! H

On Monday, 27 August 2018, 10:43:42 BST, Hilary Jones hjnatdat@... [] <> wrote:

Doug, I think your reasoning is very good.
You see last week I did the third route - Richard's - the old Great North Road now the A1. I joined it at Retford and carried on to York. Now I live in the centre of England and York is still a long way on the modern M1 (about two and a half hours if you're lucky). Using the old route it's a very long way and Richard would no doubt have to go into some of the cities to feed and rest his retinue. By the time he got to Northampton he'd be tired, and that's without the added stress of bereavement.
I just can't see him accepting an invitation from Rivers, either one sent to York (as JAH says) or one delivered on the journey, until he was ready to meet him. Even if at that point he had no definite suspicions around Rivers' intentions I can't see him ceding Rivers the inititiate. Then, as you say, as he grew nearer to Northampton he was probably alerted to Rivers' movements - his scouts and spies could have picked that up. So I agree with you entirely.
I just think it's very sad that all historians so far seem to gloss over the significance of this journey and leap straight on to the events at Stony Stratford as though the rest is a given. H

On Sunday, 26 August 2018, 19:33:04 BST, 'Doug Stamate' destama@... [] <> wrote:


Hilary wrote:

The great god of motorway roadworks wafted me onto yet another of the routes mentioned when we were contemplating Rivers' and young Edward's potential journey from Ludlow. That is of course if Rivers did come from there and not East Anglia. .

It's the Cotswolds' wool route from Evesham, through Southam, Banbury and Deddington to Oxford - sorry Doug, I think it's something like the A423, and it's the obvious route you'd take if you were heading from Ludlow. So it was a chance to see whether Rivers had any advantage in deviating eastwards to the A5 and Northampton.

And the answer would seem to be not. For a start it runs closer to Coventry which had a special relationship with young Edward and all the above towns/villages are much more substantial for hosting troops and supplies than those on the A5. You could then carry straight on to the capital by Windsor and the Thames Valley. The terrain is as good as the A5 and in some bits more pleasant.

Doug here:

The one advantage of the northern route would be that it bypassed the need to cross the Severn; or at least the wider parts of the Severn during spring-time, when one could expect rivers to be running high from the rains... Another point is that we don't know how many people were accompanying Edward from Ludlow. If it was only a couple of hundred, then the ability to house and feed those accompanying Edward would have been about the same. Finally, if the idea was to overawe London with the size of the armed force accompanying Edward, that force had to gathered together at a place that was both on the way to London and yet not too far from the city. Considering Rivers' estates in the Norfolk area, a more northerly route with the two groups uniting at Northampton makes sense.

Hilary concluded:

So even if Rivers did come from Ludlow it would suggest that he had a need to get to Northampton. Now JAH speculates that it was a pre-arranged meeting with Richard but to fix such a meeting would surely carry a degree of risk of one of them hanging around potentially for a day or so? Which suggests to me that Anthony may have stayed at Grafton to make his plans and when he heard of Richard approaching Northampton suggested a meeting there? With the King safely out of the way?

BTW I've still not found any further info on the William Clifton Commission in March. He never crops up again in the CPR.

Doug here:

Well, as it appears Edward did come from Ludlow, and he ended up in Stony Stratford, then the question to be answered is Why that route? I think Marie provided the most likely answer in her post that listed Rivers' whereabouts; the A5 brought Rivers, Vaughan and Edward, and Grey together so they could accompany Edward on his entry into London, escorted by all the troops Rivers had gathered together in the vicinity of Northampton. If the plan was, as has been surmised, to quickly crown Edward and have him remake the Council before Richard could get to London, then the only stumbling block to its success would have been the arrival of Richard in Northampton.

Now we have to consider that there were two groups operating here; each with a different and opposing aims. Rivers' would have been to carry out a coup, hopefully without fighting, and Richard's was to observe protocol and escort his nephew into his (Edward's) capital for his coronation, while he (Richard) assumed his duties as Protector. However, if Richard accomplished his aims, then Rivers would certainly fail in his. Which leads me to believe that the idea of a meeting between Richard and Rivers (and Edward) wasn't originated by Rivers, but by Richard, possibly as simply a spot where everyone could meet together prior to entering London. IOW, the Northampton meeting was, for Rivers, a monkey wrench/spanner in the works, because, needless to say, such a meeting would have completely wrecked the Woodville plans and thus had to be somehow circumvented.

I admit much depends on just when the meeting was arranged, but I see no difficulties raised if we presume Richard originated the idea and sent a message about it to Rivers, with the message arriving too late for Rivers to arrange for Edward's party to avoid Northampton altogether. After all, if the meeting at Northampton had been in the works almost from the beginning, there was no reason for Rivers not to change Edward's route to the capital. Or, even better, for Edward not to be rushed to London via some other, more southerly, route while Richard made for a meeting at Northampton. By the time Richard discovered what was going on, it very likely would have been too late for anything other than a resort to arms over the possession of the young, now crowned, king.

Which is, I think, where the idea of some sort of ambush, using Edward as bait, comes in. If we operate on the presumption that Richard knew, at least roughly, where Rivers was when Richard dispatched his message about meeting at Northampton, and that the message wasn't dispatched until Richard left for London, then Rivers wouldn't have had much time to come up with a solution to his problem. It would have been too late to change Edward's itinerary, for one thing. Another would have been the logistics involved in getting the troops Rivers was gathering together to meet up with Edward's party.

If the meeting at Northampton was previously arranged, no matter whether the time frame was long or short, there was absolutely no reason for Edward to not be at Northampton, presuming his party arrived in the area first, as from all accounts they did. It's only my opinion, but I really think that it was when Richard discovered that Edward was at Stony Stratford and not Northampton that his suspicions were aroused.

Doug
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Re: {Disarmed} Re: {Disarmed} [Richard III Society Forum] Back to St

2018-08-29 19:03:59
Doug Stamate
Hilary wrote: Doug, I think your reasoning is very good. Doug here: Thank you! I'll take every compliment I can get! Hilary continued: You see last week I did the third route - Richard's - the old Great North Road now the A1. I joined it at Retford and carried on to York. Now I live in the centre of England and York is still a long way on the modern M1 (about two and a half hours if you're lucky). Using the old route it's a very long way and Richard would no doubt have to go into some of the cities to feed and rest his retinue. By the time he got to Northampton he'd be tired, and that's without the added stress of bereavement. I just can't see him accepting an invitation from Rivers, either one sent to York (as JAH says) or one delivered on the journey, until he was ready to meet him. Even if at that point he had no definite suspicions around Rivers' intentions I can't see him ceding Rivers the inititiate. Then, as you say, as he grew nearer to Northampton he was probably alerted to Rivers' movements - his scouts and spies could have picked that up. So I agree with you entirely. Doug here: I have the impression that, at least until the events in Stony Stratford (or fairly shortly before them), Richard presumed his aims and those of Rivers et al were more or less the same; to accompany Edward to London where Richard would assume the Protectorship and Edward would be crowned. His actions prior to the end of April 1483 suggest to me that Richard wasn't aware of what the Woodvilles were up to in London. I rather wonder if the Woodville plan wasn't based on the idea that everyone knew Edward wouldn't be crowned until several weeks after his arrival in London? IOW, Rivers wasn't expecting Richard to leave the environs of York for a week or so after Richard actually did, accompanied perhaps by his wife and a retinue befitting a Royal Duke who was both the brother of the late king and uncle of the new one? Just adding a week to Richard's departure would have had him arriving in London just in time to greet his newly-crowned nephew. In a post from early June of this year, Marie has Richard arriving in Northampton on 26 April, while Anne only arrived in London on 5 June. Now, it's certainly possible that Anne arrived a week or so later than originally scheduled, what with the events of late April/early May; but even so, her arrival still wouldn't have been until almost the middle of May. What if the whole Woodville plan was based on the idea that Richard wouldn't be arriving in London until the some time after the first of May? And then Rivers gets a message from Richard stating that he will be in Northampton on 26 April and they can then jointly escort the new king into his capital... I think we can safely presume that Richard fully understood his new relationship with his nephew  that of a subject to his monarch. And more importantly, that protocol now meant that it was up to Richard to take himself to wherever the king was and not the other way around. So, when Richard is informed that his nephew will be proceeding to London via the Northampton route, he ensures that he's there to greet him. IOW, Richard was under the impression that Edward would be stopping in Northampton. Do we have any idea where Richard may have gotten that idea other than some form of communication between himself and either Edward's party or Rivers (or both?)? Perhaps this is where that letter from Hastings comes in? If Richard was expecting meet Edward anywhere else along that route, he could just as easily gone there. Weedon Bec is only about two hours ride from Northampton, as is Towcester. Or Stony Stratford, for that matter. Yet we know Richard was in Northampton for several days and yet made no attempt to do what would have been expected of him  take himself to wherever his king was going to be. So there's Richard, having informed his nephew that he will be waiting to greet Edward when the new king arrives in Northampton, only to be told by Rivers that Edward is by-passing Northampton and will instead be stopping at Stony Stratford. Maybe it's me, but the only reason I can come up with for Edward to not show up in Northampton is that if he did, then Richard, if only because of his position as Lord Constable, would automatically take over the duties of escorting his nephew to London and that would have scuppered the Woodvilles' plans completely. So, just when/where did Rivers join Edward's party? We've generally agreed that Rivers was likely at one of his properties in Norfolk when Edward IV died. However, if Rivers was at Northampton on 29/30 April, when did he arrive in the area and, more importantly, when did he know Richard was in Northampton? Would Vaughan have re-routed Edward's party on his own? If not, then it seems to me that Rivers must have been in the area, and knowledgeable about Richard's presence in Northampton at 24 hours before the 29/30 April meeting to give him enough time to warn off Vaughan and come up with some sort of plan to circumvent Richard's taking over as his nephew's escort  and minder. Because once Richard met his nephew, any authority Rivers, Vaughan and Grey had possessed would have been trumped by Richard's position as Lord Constable. Trumped to the point where Richard could likely have arrested them and then give his reasons for doing so to Edward. Just as he later did. I suppose Rivers could have confronted Richard and basically dared him to take possession of the new king and not worried about the public relations aspect, but even if Richard was captured or killed, I think Rivers was intelligent enough to realize such a move would simply solidify opposition to the Woodvilles, perhaps enough to cause a resort to arms? And just because they had possession of the king, the fact that Edward was so young would allow the opposition to still fight for Edward while fighting against his evil advisors, just as had happened before. Hilary concluded: I just think it's very sad that all historians so far seem to gloss over the significance of this journey and leap straight on to the events at Stony Stratford as though the rest is a given. Doug here: To be fair, the lack of concrete evidence allows for some of the glossing, but the reluctance to write It's not known, or some variation, is just pitiful.
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Re: {Disarmed} Re: {Disarmed} [Richard III Society Forum] Back to St

2018-09-03 10:17:16
mariewalsh2003

Doug wrote:

In a post from early June of this year, Marie has Richard arriving in Northampton on 26 April, while Anne only arrived in London on 5 June.


Marie pops in:

No, it was Nottingham where Richard arrived on 26 April (late afternoon, apparently). So he might have stopped at Leicester on the 27th and Market Harborough on the 28th, to arrive in Northampton on the 29th.


Doug wrote:

Now, it's certainly possible that Anne arrived a week or so later than originally scheduled, what with the events of late April/early May; but even so, her arrival still wouldn't have been until almost the middle of May. What if the whole Woodville plan was based on the idea that Richard wouldn't be arriving in London until the some time after the first of May? And then Rivers gets a message from Richard stating that he will be in Northampton on 26 April and they can then jointly escort the new king into his capital...


Marie replies:

Interesting idea, that Richard and most others didn't know the coronation was to happen immediately the King arrived in London, but it would have been hard to keep something like that a secret because of the preparations involved. The Historical Notes of a London Citizen talks about the 4 May coronation as though it had been generally known about, but that may have been with the benefit of a little bit of hindsight. It certainly seems odd to us that the ladies - Lady Rivers as well as Anne - weren't bothering to come to London for 4 May. They seemingly wouldn't have been needed for the procession, but surely they would have had some place at the feast? I don't really know what to make of it if I'm honest.


Re: {Disarmed} Re: {Disarmed} Re: {Disarmed} [Richard III Society Fo

2018-09-05 03:26:59
Doug Stamate
Marie wrote: No, it was Nottingham where Richard arrived on 26 April (late afternoon, apparently). So he might have stopped at Leicester on the 27th and Market Harborough on the 28th, to arrive in Northampton on the 29th. Doug here: My apologies! And there isn't even any excuse as I was bouncing back and forth from the outline you posted in June to the message I was writing and there it was in red, clear as day!

Marie continued:

Interesting idea, that Richard and most others didn't know the coronation was to happen immediately the King arrived in London, but it would have been hard to keep something like that a secret because of the preparations involved. The Historical Notes of a London Citizen talks about the 4 May coronation as though it had been generally known about, but that may have been with the benefit of a little bit of hindsight. It certainly seems odd to us that the ladies - Lady Rivers as well as Anne - weren't bothering to come to London for 4 May. They seemingly wouldn't have been needed for the procession, but surely they would have had some place at the feast? I don't really know what to make of it if I'm honest.

Doug here:

Could there have been a, well, Coronation Lite? Some ceremony that would demonstrate to the Council that Edward was in charge and any changes he made, or made with his approval, in the officers of the government and the composition of the Council were valid? Or would Edward simply being in London before Richard allow the Woodvilles time to reorder the government as they wished, leaving Richard to face a fait accompli? Could the idea of Edward sitting at the head of his Council, recognized as king, with no one there of sufficient stature to gainsay his decisions, somehow have mutated (via gossip?) into the idea that a coronation was planned immediately he arrived in London?

If there really weren't plans for any coronation, but something more on the lines of the above, is it possible that information was also in that message of Hastings? I believe the contents have been reported as concerning the number of men Richard should bring with him; perhaps the bit about having an immediate session of the Council was omitted? Is the source for Hastings' message by any chance Mancini? Because, if Hastings asked Richard to bring more men with him because the Woodvilles were planning to enthrone if not crown Edward by having him conduct a meeting of the Council as soon as he arrived in London, I can see where including the reason for those extra men might not support the thesis that everything bad was Richard's fault.

I hope that last paragraph makes sense!

Doug


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