Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Richard III Would Kick Your Teeth In

The more I read about this guy the more I like him. I know little (at the moment) about his reign, wether he was a good king or poor king, but it does seem as if he was one tough son of a gun.

To catch you up on the news . . . in case you haven't been following . . . back in the 1600 Henry VIII ordered all the monasteries in England seized. Their property was despoiled and sold. It so happens that Richard III was buried at one of these monasteries. Fast forward 400 years or such to 2012 and archeologists and historians correctly located the monastery that legend had Richard buried at. They begin poking around and find a body in a tomb under a parking lot which they identify as the late Richard III who died at Bosworth Field.

What happened at Bosworth? In short Richard III led an army of some 8000 men against Henry Tudor's 5000. But before the battle began several of Richard's Lord rebelled, joined the enemy and turned the tide against him. Richard, apparently a man of action, decided to end the fracas before he was utterly defeated and led his knights in a gallant charge to destroy Henry.

They broke through his ranks, cut all the way too him and even slew his standard bearer before they number played against them. Richard was cut off from his men by a large press of knights and foot soldiers. His horse is mired in the ground. He leaps off and continues fighting, or continues fighting from the horse, but is struck so hard in the head that it knocks his helmet off, or breaks it one. Then the fight becomes brutal...3 shaving blows cut off parts of his skull, a dagger to the cheek and a slice on the chin...but it seems Richard is still fighting because someone strikes him in the back of the head, several times, cleaving open his skull.

9 head wounds, 2 wounds to the back and buttocks.

Richard III would kick your teeth in.


Rod Thompson said...

No wounds, other than to the head, in the front? Could he have turned to run at the last moment and finally been cut down from behind? The ratio of head to body wounds, coupled with the wounded buttocks, tell me he was unhorsed. But to your point, he was one tough dude.

King Skalmad said...

There's a documentary streaming on Netflix, "Secrets: Richard III," that Smithsonian produced that discusses the butt wounds. One theory (based on the angle of the stab, the location and how deep it went) is that after he was killed, he was thrown over a horse to transport him to his grave; a soldier on the victorious side jabbed a rondell dagger into his anus to further humiliate the fallen king.
Some of those head wounds are believed to have been from a halberd. An infantryman with a halberd could definitely have thrown him from the horse, particularly with a head-shot. Shakespeare's famous line attributed to RIII in the waning moments of that final battle, "My kingdom for a horse!" might be a memory passed down by witnesses, but twisted by the victors. He may not have called for a horse to flee, but because he knew he was as good as dead on foot in the middle of his enemies.

Stu Rat said...

So he had at least 11 hit points.