Catrina, I for one appreciate your comment and concur. A decent king, not a saint, but a man of his time who did do much for the everyday man of the time.
Kerry, I also enjoyed Sharon Penman's novel. If you get a chance, try Jeremy Potter's biography, "Good King Richard?" and also his novel, "Trail of Blood".
"The most famous prince of blessed memory" read the records of the City of York in 1485. Had Richard III prevailed at Bosworth ... and the accounts indicate he came awfully darned close to taking out Henry Tudor ... we would be living in a different world today.
Why some of the other commenters believe so strongly that only Richard had the motive and opportunity to kill his nephews is beyond me. Richard was a loyal brother who followed his older brother Edward's commands for years. If the princes were indeed illegitimate and therefore barred from the succession due to the precontract of Edward with Salisbury's daughter prior to Edward's marriage with Elizabeth Woodville, the woman who would become the mother of the princes, what danger did the boys pose to Richard? It has always seemed more likely to me that Buckingham was a more likely murderer of the boys ...if they were murdered ... as Buckingham, not Henry, would have had the more legitimate claim to the throne were both the boys and Richard out of the way. If you haven't yet read it, do try Josephine Tey's "Daughter of Time", one place (but not the only one) where such a theory is advanced.
At this late date we are unlikely to ever know the full truth of what happened those 500+ years ago, but I thought it was wonderful to be able to see an actual facial reconstruction of the man, which gives us all a closer look of what he looked like in life. May he and all who fell with him rest in peace.
What sort of world we'd be living in had Bosworth gone the other way depends mostly on how good Richard was at managing his money. As Abraham might have said to the King of Ur (but probably didn't) "It's the economy, stupid". The big question is whether Richard, financially speaking, behaves like Henry VII or like Henry VIII.Henry VII's policy was essentially one of retrenchment. He tried to keep expenses down by avoiding foreign adventures, and recovering lost revenues by enforcing once more all those taxes and feudal dues which had gone uncollected during the years of instability. This was as popular as you might expect, and earned him a reputation as a skinflint, but was hardly avoidable if he hoped to balance the budget.
Henry VIII was an arse of a totally different colour. For him, adventure was what being king was all about, and he couldn't wait to "go forth to Normandie" once more. Iirc he never got much further than Tournai and Boulogne, but that proved expensive enough, with the result that despite inheriting a fortune from his father and acquiring a second by dissolving the monasteries, he died broke.
So it all depends on which way you see Richard going. If he's a Henry VII, he has every chance of founding a lasting dynasty. If he goes the other way, his successor - son, nephew or whatever - inherits an empty treasury and a foreign war that's almost certainly getting nowhere fast - in which case look out.
How exactly was Buckingham's claim "better than Henry's"?
His mother was a cousin of Margaret Beaufort, but further down the line of succession (supposing the Beauforts to be in it) than MB was. His other royal ancestor, Thomas of Woodstock, was the youngest son of Edward III, so his descendants could only claim after all descendants of Lionel, John of Gaunt and Edmund of Langley - too low on the list to really count. At best he could claim (as his son did later, and got beheaded for it) to be the residual Lancastrian heir should anything happen to Henry. He wasn't ahead of Henry by any reckoning.