Monday, 12 November 2012

Musings on the fate of kings and peasants.

The Bosworth Battlefield visitor centre is still worth a visit. We nipped over there on Saturday, if nothing else it gives you an idea of how medieval armies were organised, let's take Bosworth as an example. At the top you had the king;

Richard the Third and on the other side;

the usurper Henry Tudor.

Then you had the lords and knights, nice set of armour, decent weapons, good sword etc. Below that there were the rank and file,

Just a padded jacket and a pole arm, a bill hook on a long handle. Of course the majority of the armies were made up of the peasantry,

given a tin hat, bring your own pitch-fork/scythe, they didn't even count in the scoring. (See The Blackadder). Poor sods chaps, didn't have a clue what it was all about, just got skewered by the nobs.
Enough of my persiflage, in amongst the collection of finds from the battlefield there is one thing that stands out.

This tiny silver gilt boar was found on the battlefield in the area of the medieval bog which seems likely to have been the site of the Kings death. The picture is bigger than actual size, it is only 29mm long. It is known that only twelve of these were made and all were presented personally to the king's closest followers, eight at his coronation and the other four at his sons investiture as Prince of Wales. It is clear that at least one of Richards close friends was on that spot on the fateful twenty-second of August, 1485. It seems likely that we now know the place that the last English king to die in battle met his fate.

Watch this space.........

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