Ruthlessness and Richard III: Thomas Penn (1483)

In this haunting episode of Travels Through Time, Thomas Penn guides us back to the blackest year of them all, 1483.

Richard Duke of Gloucester, has seized power. His rivals, the Woodville faction, have fled for their lives. And the uncrowned child Edward V has disappeared into the Tower of London, along with his younger brother. The two would never be seen again.

This was the year that Richard Duke of Gloucester conceived a ruthless plan to seize the throne for himself. His actions would make his reputation for cunning, opportunism and recklessness. In retrospect, Penn argues, this was the year that the powerful House of York began to consume itself.

The ‘Wars of the Roses’ saw the House of York ranged against their rivals in the House of Lancaster. The complex, long-running conflict played out in a succession of battles, betrayals and beheadings. It was a time when, as the historian Thomas Penn puts it, ‘necessity knew no law.’

So begins the final tragic act in the story of the House of York.

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Show notes:

Scene One: Northampton, the night of April 29/30, Richard and Buckingham’s plot

Scene Two: Council chamber, Tower of London, morning of Friday 13 June, Richard’s accusation/Hastings’ execution

Scene Three: Lincoln, Sunday 12 October, Richard’s response to news of Buckingham’s rebellion

Memento: Edward IV’s will.

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People / Social

Presenter: Peter Moore

Guest: Thomas Penn

Producer: Maria Nolan

Editorial: Paul Lay / Artemis Irvine

Digital Production: John Hillman

Titles: Jon O.

 

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