Most people’s perception of Richard 111 is of a humpty back scheming monster who killed his nephews in the Tower of London and stole the English Crown. Fortunately this is just not true. You have to realise that history is written by the victors and when Henry Tudor (who’s claim to the Crown is very shaky to say the least) won the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 and killed Richard – purely because Richard was betrayed – he wanted to justify his victory and so he set about rewriting history. A certain Mr Shakespeare didn’t help either.
Richard’s elder brother was Edward IV, who won his Crown at the slaughter which was Towton, charged Richard with looking after his interests in the North while he was in London and Richard set his power base at Middleham Castle. When Edward died and Richard inherited the Crown he still stayed here frequently.
Middleham is about 20 miles from me and the imposing castle looks down on this lovely, remote Dales village. I really enjoy going there – on a good day the views from the ruined battlements are magnificent and you get a real sense of history and belonging.
On this particular day the King was in residence and was holding Court…