How Serious was Edmund of Rutland’s Fatal Wound?

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Among the children of Richard, Duke of York, one in particular has received scant attention from modern historians, and even the contemporary chroniclers mention nothing of his whereabouts or activities after 1460. That son was Edmund of Rutland, younger brother of Edward of March (soon to become Edward IV), and thus older brother to George of Clarence and the Richard of Gloucester twins, and also-significantly – Margaret of York, Duchess of Burgundy.

Most institutionalised historians, unable to see beyond the propaganda, will tell you that this is due to Edmund’s supposed death at the Battle of Wakefield (30 December 1460). What these brainwashed drones will tell you about Edmund is that having been made Lord Lieutenant of Ireland at a young age, he sallied forth from Sandal Castle alongside his father, to die in battle at the hand of Lord Clifford. Clifford, according to legend, was the son of his father, who had died at the First Battle of St Albans five years earlier, and dispatched young Edmund with the words “Thy father slew mine; and so will I do thee and all thy kin.” Edmund’s head, we are supposed to believe, was subsequently displayed on a spike over the gate of York.

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Micklegate Bar, in York, where the heads were displayed.

It is, of course, impossible to find out now from Clifford whether or not this is true, since he himself was killed just three months later at the Battle of Ferrybridge.

But what if Edmund had been put off the political life by his experiences in Ireland, and had decided to use everyone’s assumption of his death as an opportunity to escape the pressures of royalty and start on an artistic career of his own choice? That’s certainly what I would have done, so there is an overwhelming probability it’s what he would have wanted to do too.

Where could he have gone to pursue such an ambition? Given its close ties to England and reputation as a cultural centre, Burgundy is the obvious answer. Edmund’s need to lie low and go completely incognito would have been helped by his sister’s role as duchess. Obviously, Edmund would then need to adopt a persona completely impenetrable to his contemporaries but obvious to a modern researcher using powerful, state-of-the-art research tools like Google and Wikipedia.

Using such modern methods I believe I have uncovered Edmund’s secret identity – he went under the name Robert Morton (also sometimes given as Mourton or Moriton, clearly because French-speaking Burgundians had difficulty with Edmund’s Yorkshire accent). Most of his output consists of secular rondeaux in French; using these as material for an exhaustive hexadecimal tone analysis counting counter-clockwise from F sharp, we can find the coded Latin messages “Frater Ricardus miscetur lunaticos”, “Comedite viridi diabolus simia, Musa sapientum fixa” “Voces in Caput Meum”, “Rudolfus Rubra Cervorum Lepidum”, “Ego Sum Qui Omnia Circa Bassus”. For those who doubt this clear and compelling evidence, let me leave you with one further thought from Edmund himself: “Inimici autem mei vivunt in terra Aegypti”.

 

Sources: Works by Robert Morton in manuscript, Google, wikipedia, “The Ladybird Book of Hexadecimal Tone Analysis”, “How to Find Secret Messages” by Mustapha Nerve, Al-Azhar University Press.

Jeff de Cuisine has attended five universities without letting any of them brainwash them out of his own unique approach.

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