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Old 04-27-2019, 06:24 PM   #151
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You make a great point in terms of the power of the church. And yes, it absolutely forbid divorce. But the church and state had separate mandates and distinct authorities. The Titulus Regius was within Parliament’s domain. The consent of the church wasn’t necessary for the legislation, as it would be for a divorce.

I think it’s shaky to build a case for Richard on the basis of an unimpeachable church. If the church was so independent and wouldn’t just go along with Richard’s demands, why did it remain silent and look the other way for decades while Edward IV was bigamous? Bigamy should have been as morally offensive as divorce to trustworthy Bishops.

If instead, the church was morally offended by Edward’s bigamy, but silent because of their fear of reprisal, then it’s reasonable to assume they went along with Richard’s demand out of fear as well.



Where was the justice and due process? No evidence was given. And since both parties were dead, they were denied an opportunity to refute the allegation. Parliament seemed to work quite differently than a court.
Titulus Regius was created by “the Lords Spiritual and Temporal” and then ratified by Parliament. The church was very involved in the whole matter.
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Old 04-27-2019, 08:10 PM   #152
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Certainly, blanket statements about who was the rightful king, and who was murderer/usurper can be made. But I think the evidence at this late date for any sort of absolute statements of _fact_, are a bit OTT. That being said, I'm solidly on the side of Richard III as being the legitimate king, if only by virtue of the fact of his having been actually crowned. And even after reading alternative accounts, I'm not convinced he murdered the "princes in the tower".
Agreed - definitive statements aren’t really possible. We just don’t know enough. There’s so little evidence that the discovery of a single new source document could swing the discussion in an entirely different direction.

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Titulus Regius was created by “the Lords Spiritual and Temporal” and then ratified by Parliament. The church was very involved in the whole matter.
I stand corrected And honestly, though I’ve enjoyed reading some background material, I know virtually nothing about English history. But even if “Lords Spiritual” helped draft the document, isn’t their silence about Edward’s bigamy during his lifetime suspicious, and ethically problematic? Could their support for Richard reflect other things, such as fear, currying favour, etc?

Despite the lack of evidence, something about this story seems to provoke strong opinions and firm conclusions. Maybe because it treads on our values. This discussion and background material has been interesting and informative. But I wonder if it’s actually changed anyone’s mind? It’s only shifted mine marginally - I have a bit more space for doubt.

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Old 04-27-2019, 09:01 PM   #153
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Some are critical of the legality of Titulus Regius because Parliament was considered to have operated outside their jurisdiction in determining the invalidity of Edward IV’s marriage. According to the practices of the time an ecclesiastical court would have made this ruling usually.
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Old 04-27-2019, 09:46 PM   #154
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Some are critical of the legality of Titulus Regius because Parliament was considered to have operated outside their jurisdiction in determining the invalidity of Edward IV’s marriage. According to the practices of the time an ecclesiastical court would have made this ruling usually.
Just the fact that Titulus Regius was created to benefit one king and then repealed to benefit another when the wind changed calls the document into question; was it actually anything but a tool of political expediency?
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Old 04-27-2019, 10:17 PM   #155
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Agreed - definitive statements aren’t really possible. We just don’t know enough. There’s so little evidence that the discovery of a single new source document could swing the discussion in an entirely different direction.

I stand corrected And honestly, though I’ve enjoyed reading some background material, I know virtually nothing about English history. But even if “Lords Spiritual” helped draft the document, isn’t their silence about Edward’s bigamy during his lifetime suspicious, and ethically problematic? Could their support for Richard reflect other things, such as fear, currying favour, etc?

Despite the lack of evidence, something about this story seems to provoke strong opinions and firm conclusions. Maybe because it treads on our values. This discussion and background material has been interesting and informative. But I wonder if it’s actually changed anyone’s mind? It’s only shifted mine marginally - I have a bit more space for doubt.
Sorry Victoria - I was interrupted and only sent you a part answer. On the matter of Edward IV, their disapproval is expressed in the document called Titulus Regius, but disapproving of his behaviour is very different from the ruling on his previous marriage once this became known. And that could only happen after Edward IV died, assuming the man who knew, Bishop Stillington, wanted to stay alive and healthy!

I don't expect that any minds have been changed, and of course it can be argued about endlessly I suppose, including considering whether everyone went along with the decision because everyone was afraid of Richard's power. All of them together? The Lords Spiritual and Temporal and the Commons, hearing the evidence and deciding that the children were illegitimate, Clarence's children were not in the succession because of the attainder of their father, and so Richard was therefore the legal heir.

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Some are critical of the legality of Titulus Regius because Parliament was considered to have operated outside their jurisdiction in determining the invalidity of Edward IV’s marriage. According to the practices of the time an ecclesiastical court would have made this ruling usually.
Well, I'm no expert on the laws of the time, but I would have thought what was called the three Estates of the Realm making a decision which was then passed into law by Parliament was pretty solid. If the church had not been a part of it, that would have been different.

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Just the fact that Titulus Regius was created to benefit one king and then repealed to benefit another when the wind changed calls the document into question; was it actually anything but a tool of political expediency?
Yes, the law passed by Parliament was repealed by Henry VII. That doesn't call the document, and the decision, into question in my opinion. But certainly laws made by one Parliament can be changed or repealed by another.
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Old 04-28-2019, 12:23 AM   #156
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Just the fact that Titulus Regius was created to benefit one king and then repealed to benefit another when the wind changed calls the document into question; was it actually anything but a tool of political expediency?
Excuse me, but how is that different than today? Without getting into P&R territory, we seem to have one head of state systematically repealing and replacing a previous head of state -- all around the world. And this was hardly unheard of back then, either.
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Old 04-28-2019, 01:32 AM   #157
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Excuse me, but how is that different than today? Without getting into P&R territory, we seem to have one head of state systematically repealing and replacing a previous head of state -- all around the world. And this was hardly unheard of back then, either.
Which (if I understand correctly) is pretty much what is under discussion: is this just the all too familiar political expediency, or were the church involved as a separate player to the government.

Despite the wording of the Titulus Regius (which was only issued the next year, 1484, after Richard III acted as if it was true), I find it difficult to see the church acting separately in this matter. Things do not seem quite the same as when Henry VIII was arguing with the Catholic church - with the traitorous/saintly (pick you preferred adjective) Thomas More intervening. Here, it seems to me, with at least one of Richard III and/or with Henry VII the church must have been looking the other way, or had no one willing to disagree with the king - which in those days especially would have been no small thing, especially with war-like figures such as these two.
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Old 04-28-2019, 08:45 AM   #158
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Really enjoying reading this discussion. Did Richard kill his nephews for the throne ? It looks bad for him they were under his protection when they disappeared. He prevented the coronation and became King himself.

Queen Elizabeth Woodville had no power after her husband died. She married her families enemies and was never accepted by the powerful York Lords. Richard the youngest brother remained loyal to his brother even when their other brother Clarence tried to overthrow Edward lV . So why would he turn against them after he died. Maybe Richard did protect them after all. Elizabeth saw her brothers killed by the York Lords. Her father and another brother John were killed by York Lords ( Lord Warwick and Clarence ) while trying to overthrow her husband the King. Times were not good she was in enemy hands. Maybe ..............she struck a deal with Richard , knowing what would happen to them. Maybe he let his nephews go secretly and they escaped to Flanders where Elizabeth had extended family. It's possible but only with Richards consent.

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Old 04-28-2019, 03:03 PM   #159
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Excuse me, but how is that different than today? Without getting into P&R territory, we seem to have one head of state systematically repealing and replacing a previous head of state -- all around the world. And this was hardly unheard of back then, either.
But what does anything that happens today have to do with it? Policy being changed or repealed in a democracy based on election results isn't comparable to challenging/overturning the legitimacy of succession in a monarchy. The question of legitimacy was factual, but it seems to have been decided based not on facts but on who had the power.
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Old 05-02-2019, 04:25 PM   #160
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I finished The White Queen by Philippa Gregory last night. It's very well written, about Elizabeth Woodville's life. It really brings her feelings into light about what happened to her sons in the tower. I'm going to read the other books about the Woodville family members, her mother and daughter Queen Elizabeth who married Henry Tudor King Henry Vll. I can see why the shows on Starz channel are so popular now. Thanks for the recommendation gmw !
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Old 05-02-2019, 09:54 PM   #161
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I'm glad you enjoyed it, Wearever. It's certainly an entertaining way to look at history and it gave the impression that Philippa Gregory has done as good a job of getting it right as she can ... but it doesn't do to forget that a lot of it is still fiction. On the other hand, it's certainly no worse (and definitely more accessible to a modern audience) than reading Shakespeare for history lessons.

I certainly found it to be more instructive than The Daughter of Time, but I guess we must still thank Josephine Tey for paving the way for books like this.
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Old 05-03-2019, 04:09 AM   #162
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I recently finished reading the biography of Richard III by Sir Clements Markham, published in about 1906, to which I referred earlier. It was well researched and an interesting book to read, particularly as it was the main influence on Tey, as I understand it.

It’s available from Project Gutenberg for anyone interested in learning more about the actual documentary evidence that survived. Apparently a lot of documents about Richard’s reign were destroyed by Henry VII’s pet historians. I wonder why?
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Old 05-03-2019, 06:15 AM   #163
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I'm glad you enjoyed it, Wearever. It's certainly an entertaining way to look at history and it gave the impression that Philippa Gregory has done as good a job of getting it right as she can ... but it doesn't do to forget that a lot of it is still fiction. On the other hand, it's certainly no worse (and definitely more accessible to a modern audience) than reading Shakespeare for history lessons.

I certainly found it to be more instructive than The Daughter of Time, but I guess we must still thank Josephine Tey for paving the way for books like this.
That's true, back in 1951 when Tey wrote Daughter of time and as time passed 67 yrs. later, it has reached a much larger audience in books, societies, and now a popular show. I'm glad the Princes are still talked about 500 yrs. later and hope someday that the bones will be tested for DNA evidence to find out if it's the princes buried in the tower. One thing I could never understand is why their sister Elizabeth would ever consider marring King Richard lll. He destroyed their family had them found illegitimate and is presumed to have murdered her brothers. I would think they would all want to be as far away from Richard as possible under the circumstances. Although she was a prisoner in the abby and may have stockholm syndrome .
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Old 05-03-2019, 06:26 AM   #164
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I recently finished reading the biography of Richard III by Sir Clements Markham, published in about 1906, to which I referred earlier. It was well researched and an interesting book to read, particularly as it was the main influence on Tey, as I understand it.

It’s available from Project Gutenberg for anyone interested in learning more about the actual documentary evidence that survived. Apparently a lot of documents about Richard’s reign were destroyed by Henry VII’s pet historians. I wonder why?
Thanks Bookpossum, that does sound interesting. I'll read it as well. Any information about Richard lll is useful and trying to understand him and his motives. I'm not surprised Henry Vll historians destroyed documented evidence
of Richard lll reign.They wanted to write his history themselves.
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Old 05-03-2019, 07:00 AM   #165
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Thanks Bookpossum, that does sound interesting. I'll read it as well. Any information about Richard lll is useful and trying to understand him and his motives. I'm not surprised Henry Vll historians destroyed documented evidence
of Richard lll reign.They wanted to write his history themselves.
Indeed! I was being a tad ironic. Somehow I don’t think they would have been removing anything that put him in a bad light.
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