Meeting King Richard III

Image of a crown courtesy of Piotr Siedlecki and publicdomainpictures.net

 

Meeting King Richard III…in the afterlife

A gentleman with neatly trimmed black hair and circle beard; wearing a tailored dark gray suite with faint light grey stripes steps out of thick fog to greet what he believes is another “Richard III enthusiast.”

Until the twentieth century he rarely dealt with anyone and then Richard’s corporal remains were found. Now the 564 year old’s star shines in a far more positive than negative light. Butters’ client is very appreciated to these enthusiasts, still he hesitates to meet them. Just hearing yet another version of Shakespeare’s play is going into performance puts Richard III in a dower mood for days.

Butters does not blame his client.  As soon as Richard II ascended to the throne “vultures” came out of woodwork especially Henry Tudor.   He turned nearly all the realm against his client.  Only the North, Richard’s strong hold, stood by him. Then there was the spectacle made of his client’s body after his brutal death at Bosworth. Not to mention the continued slander that he killed his beloved wife Anne and this nephews.

Richard III and Anne were husband and wife over a decade. He never stopped loving her even after she died. And as for his nephews, in Butters mind, there were just too many in the realm who hated his client for turning his beloved brother’s sons into bastards.

Any explanation given for the missing boys got twisted. The worst came when bones located beneath Tower stairs spread to the masses. People everywhere declared them as belonging to the missing princes.  In the 1930s this falsehood was given credence after “a dubious examination” declared the bones as belonging to the missing boys.  As in the days after Richard III most people accepted the continued push that his client had his nephews murdered.

Butters halts reminiscing and focuses his attention on his guest; a woman with a reddish-brown bob, wearing similar attire to his own except instead of pants and wingtips, she has on a skirt and high heel dress shoes.  Butters also see she wears wire rim glasses.  I see they have gone back to sending a lawyer and not one of their own to grovel.

“I am William Butters, QC, I represent Richard the III and you are?”

“My name is Eleanor Ambros, barrister and solicitor.  I am here on behalf of my clients to ask for a meeting with your client.  You have brushed us off for far too long.”

“You are exaggerating, my client has met with a few personally over the centuries. He just can’t keep answering the big questions they keep putting to him.”

“Please you aren’t fooling me, stop telling my clients to refer to available records.”

“Please Ms. Ambrose I only meet you for the first time today. ”

“True, but the clients are very much the same the number only grows.

“Yet their demands have not.  It amazes me how they want definite answers to the same old things.  Is the curve severe?  Why could he have not built better trust toward his people and relied less on Northern nobility?  What event caused Richard to  move away from his brother Edward IV’s policies after he ascended to the throne?  Why if he loved Anne so much did he allow rumors he wished to marry his niece Elizabeth of York to persist? Why did he fail to crush the slanderous rumor he…murdered…

“Stop, I know!   Listen Richard III may have only ruled for two years but in a short span of time he not only extended what he accomplished when his brother Edward was king but he also shares some similarities with monarchs before him.

Like Henry V, Richard III honored his predecessor.  Richard II took in Henry V into his care and even made him Prince of Wales despite exciling his father. He could have easily punished the boy but instead he chose to embrace him.   Richard III similarly along with his brother Edward forgave their brother George for joining The Earl of Warwick in a failed rebellion against the kingdom.   After Edward IV’s death Richard continued his late brother’s policies…”

Butters, cuts Ambrose off, “Yes, I am well aware of my client’s leniency and I do admit there is a similarity to Richard II but htat is just one.”

Like Henry V, Richard III honored his predecessor.  Richard II took in Henry V into his care and even made him Prince of Wales despite exciling his father. He could have easily punished the boy but instead he chose to embrace him.   Richard III similarly along with his brother Edward forgave their brother George for joining The Earl of Warwick in a failed rebellion against the kingdom.   After Edward IV’s death Richard continued his late brother’s policies…”

Butters, cuts Ambrose off, “Yes, I am well aware of my client’s leniency and I do admit there is a similarity to Richard II but htat is just one.”

“Like Henry V, Richard III was an essential part of Edward IV’s retinue and while Henry V did not fight in battle for Richard II, Richard III did and bravely too at Edward IV’s side even one time helping him reclaim the throne from Henry VI.  Richard also took on responsibilities as …”

Butters chimes in and fills in the rest of what Ambrose was going to say next,” …as constable of England and soon after Chief Justice of North Wales.  Both positions he held for years and added further lands and titles as the years went on. ”

“Right, this shows Richard III was loyal not only to his family but to his people.  Yes, there were times that he had to enforce harsh punishments but overall I can’t see how he was any different from someone else in power at that time.”

“I agree but my client had very little time to do as he pleased with the rebellions he faced…”

“I am aware but what Richard III did in the short periods of peace benefited the realm, he honored religious houses of worship, endowed the Queen’s College of Cambridge, extended bail further than it had been, and so much more.  So you see while your client’s reign was sadly brief he really was in line with past monarchs even his brother.”

“I do assert you make fair points but nothing you have said to this point tells me things are different now…”

“I don’t believe it you are going to give that line again…”

“Wait for me to finish young woman…” says Butters sternly.

“Sorry, Sir.”

“The main concern remains that many even among your clients and in the living who still yearn for definite answers.  It is simply not going to happen, time has marched on and what happened, happened. I simply will not present your case to Richard III unless you can convince me your clients  will treat him as they prefer treatment toward themselves.   If you can’t assure me they will do so, you have thus far wasted your breath and my time.”

“Really now Sir Butters do not slap my clients in the faces.  They have done great good toward your client and have gone out of their way since the 1930s to improve his stature. Generations of them have written articles, books, spoken to the public, created websites, done tours of places connected to Richard III, and so much more. And the biggest thing they have done was to find your client’s mortal remains. They did not have to raise funds among themselves and others to launch an archeological dig to find him.   My clients’ actions speak as strongly as my words.  Trust that all this together shows they only wish to show your client the appreciation and respect he deserves. There will be no grilling much less a trial of your client.  They are not vindictive. Now please Sir Butters, speak to your client and let him know a willing party wishes to receive him.”

“Eloquently done Ms. Ambrose,  You have convinced me that you and your clients are sincere. I shall speak to my client and get back to you.” requests Butters.

“Thank you Sir Butters, I am sure your client will be receptive to meeting with my clients,” answers Ms. Ambrose.

A week later Richard III connected with his enthusiasts in the afterlife and they kept to their word and treated him with the same respect as they would like for themselves.

 

The End