…Relating to the Reign of King Richard The Third And Destroyed On The Orders Of King Henry The Seventh.
This is the definitive list, compiled over many years, following many clues, filing in gaps with logical precision and comprising the entire Lost History of Richard III.
The Great Vellum Destruction (as it was never known) was only one part of a two part process, the other part being The Great Evidence Forgery. Both activities were undertaken by monks from the Sancta et Secreta Ordinis Perniciem et Simulans which was housed in the cellars of what is now Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children. It was known only to a few people and they talked about it in code, referring to it only as The Slash, Burn and Make Things Up Squad. The monks were well fed, well housed and double sworn to secrecy, each of them personally pinkie-swearing with Henry VII himself. Once all the documents that needed to be destroyed were destroyed, and the ones that needed to be forged were forged, Henry attempted to disband the order but, with a thirty years supply of communion wafers and wine on hand, and secret tunnels that took them the length and breadth of London, they barricaded themselves in and refused to come out. It wasn’t until Henry VII’s son, Henry VIII, came up with the brilliant ruse of disbanding the monasteries and breaking with the Catholic Church that the heavy mob were sent in to sort them out. Heading this band of jack-booted toughs was one Bishop Stillington who may, or may not, have been the same Bishop Stillington who carried the secret of Edward IV’s first secret marriage not-quite-to-his-grave.
And so, at last, we come to The List Itself…
- Marriage certificate for Edward IV and Eleanor Butler Talbot Butler (Mrs), dated 9 September 1462, witnessed by one R Stillington (Bish).
- Letter from George Duke of Clarence to Isabelle Duchess of Clarence outlining his knowledge of the secret marriage between Edward IV and E Butler Talbot Butler (Mrs).
- Letter to Richard Duke of Gloucester from Edward V, King (Former) stating that he would very much like to go to visit his Auntie Margaret in Burgundy, if it wouldn’t be too much trouble. Co-signed R York.
- Confession of William Lord Hastings to all crimes that might be attributed to him any time over the next five hundred years.
- Letter from Anthony Woodville, Earl Rivers, thanking Richard III for his diligence in uncovering his family’s plots and organising for him to be beheaded.
- Letter Elizabeth Woodville, Queen (Retired) to her sons Edward and Richard advising them to take clean socks and not bother their Auntie Margaret too much during their visit.
- Letter from Henry Tudor to his mother, asking her if she’d mind terribly getting his teddy bear out of the attic so he could give its rumbly tummy a comforting poke just before he went into battle.
- Record of trial of William Lord Hastings. (NB This is a short document consisting of the following words, “My Lord Gloucester, being Constable and all, pointed at him and said ‘Guilty’ whereuntohenceforth he was executed for being guilty”.)
- Postcard from Edward V, King (Former) to Richard III thanking him for letting him and his brother visit their Auntie Margaret in Burgundy and saying they both really liked it here and would he mind terribly if they didn’t come back to England for a bit. Co-signed P Warbeck.
- Letter Elizabeth of York to Henry Tudor saying he was a beastly beast and his mother was a nasty old hag and that she wouldn’t marry him if he was the last man on the planet.
- Letter Elizabeth of York to Henry Tudor saying she was going to hold her breath until she turned blue unless he let her off being married to him.
- Letter Elizabeth of York to Henry Tudor thanking him for the nice sparkly diamond and saying maybe it wouldn’t do any harm to meet up for coffee some time.
- Letter Elizabeth of York to Elizabeth Woodville, Queen (Retired) asking her to please magic Henry Tudor into something a little less weaselly and ugly.
- Letter Elizabeth of York to Edward V, King (Former) asking him to please come home from Burgundy and be king again so she didn’t have to marry the ugly weaselly Henry Tudor.
- Letter Edward V, King (Absconded) to Elizabeth of York stating that it sucked to be her.
- Advice from anonymous Physician to Henry Tudor saying there really was nothing that could be done about his weaselly face that, admittedly, only a particularly obsessive, overly ambitious and sickeningly pious mother could love.
- Warrant for the arrest and immediate execution of all anonymous Physicians in England.
- Letter Elizabeth of York to Henry Tudor conceding that she might marry him after all so long as there were lots of sparkly diamonds and could be please wear a bag over his head?
- Letter Pope Sixtus IV inviting Richard III to apply for the position of Saint. (NB: This was heavily scored through and the following addendum added by an angry and forceful hand: “No! What the bloody hell does he think I am?” signed ‘Ricardus Rex NON Sancti!!!!’)
In extrapolating the existence, and subsequent destruction, of these documents from their very absence on any plane – physical, spiritual or metaphorical – I am left with no choice but to utterly admire Henry VII for his cleverness, decisiveness and devotion to his cause. Clearly, the documents themselves were forgeries, concocted in the last desperate days of Richard III’s reign and the first days of Henry VII’s. At first glance, it may be presumed they were designed to exonerate Richard III but Tudor – at his perspicacious best – recognised them for what they were: very poorly counterfeited mash-ups (as, I believe, the hip young things say) designed not to exonerate but to condemn Richard – to make him out to be so desperate to clear his name of his many crimes (both real and imagined) that he’d stoop to such obvious and shoddy fakery. It is because of this act of destruction that I can say with some confidence (and not a little surprise) that Henry Tudor was the very first revisionist, the first person to attempt to rehabilitate the blackened name of the man he saw as the most maligned king in history – Richard III. Henry VII was, in fact, history’s very first Ricardian.
This knowledge should allow us to read More’s History of King Richard III through fresh eyes. More, who despised Henry VII, didn’t write it under orders from his king or threat of death. It wasn’t intended primarily to blacken Richard’s name but to annoy Henry VII. More knew just what he was doing and far from Tudor Propaganda, his work was Tudor Irritata. And this was the tragedy of poor Henry Tudor. He had gone to England in hopes of meeting his hero, of perhaps, one day, following him (like so many before and since) to the Gates of Hell. Alas! due to his notorious cast eye, Henry failed to see it was his hero who faced him at Bosworth and not, as he’d hoped, the foul and miserable Traitor (and Stepfather) Thomas Stanley. Oh, how different history would have been had Henry been able to see the same thing with both eyes! When he knew Richard was dead, he did the only thing he could possibly do. In tribute to his dead paragon, he vowed to emulate him for the rest of his life, took up Richard’s fallen crown and placed it atop his own head in hopes the sacrifice he was about to make – to be king of a country that was notoriously difficult to stay being king of – for the rest of his miserable life.
Tortured by his inability to give Richard the funeral he knew he deserved, one can only imagine how much joy he must be feeling now (if he can feel it above the sizzle and pain of the Flames of Hell) that his king, and hero, is at last getting the send off he should have had all those centuries ago.
So now we know who to thank for the continued attempts to restore Richard III’s good name. If not for the work Henry VII, the first Ricardian, we’d all now be thinking Richard was a miserable (and very bad) forger. As well as all the other things we think about him. Like those poor little tots in the Tower (bless!) and his long suffering Queen, who really was very chuffed her husband sent her that lovely bunch of grapes when she was feeling so poorly…
If any doubt remains as to Henry VII’s devotion to his predecessor, a brief description of the final document in the collection should convince even the most hardened skeptic of the truth of it:
- Transcript of conversation between Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, Queen (Reluctant) where he demands she just admit Richard III never did anything wrong – ever! – and she says she won’t sleep with him anymore if he keeps up that kind of nonsense.
Various letters and documents forged in the reign of Richard III and destroyed in the reign of Henry VII (see above).
Archives of the Sancta et Secreta Ordinis Perniciem et Simulans, found in a small walled up room below the cellars of Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children, slightly foxed, torn to pieces and water damaged to the point where the ink went all runny and smudged. (Indecipherable)
Kunz, The Dissolution of the Monasteries (German edition)
Craddock, Scientific Investigation of Copies, Fakes and Forgeries
Bplan Xchange, Document Shredding Business Service Start Up Sample Business Plan! (kindle edition)
Macqueen, The Great Ormond Street Hospital Manual of Children’s Nursing Practices
Connell, Doctor Crippen: The Infamous London Cellar Murder of 1910
Fenton, Cellar Door (kindle edition)
Walters, The Cellar (kindle edition)
Chabrowski, Shreds of a Monk’s Robe
Tudor, I Was Only Trying to Help! A memoir (Destroyed)
More, The History of King Richard III
More, The Saint Who Fooled a King: You should have seen his face! A memoir (Destroyed)
Bolt, A Man for All Seasons
Bolt, Usain Bolt: 9.58
Harris, Keep on Pushing: Hot Lessons from Cool Runnings
Best Apps for Phone, Despicable Santa Claus rush through Snow Monster to deliver Gifts to kids: A cool running and dashing game for Surfer Fan FREE…
I’m actually getting a little tired of being asked for sources. I mean, this isn’t a university history course, it’s the internet, for heaven’s sake! And why ask me for sources anyway? Frankly, I find it offensive and insulting! Are you trying to catch me out or something, all you oh, so clever! people who just know everything there is to know about everything. I READ IT SOMEWHERE, OK? I can’t be expected to remember every single bloody thing I’ve ever read in the whole of my life. Failing that, IT’S MY OPINION, OK? Just take my word for it, and we’ll get along fine… WHAT THE BLOODY HELL JUST RAN OVER MY FOOT???
JEF Dingle-Bell (Mrs) is currently locked in a cellar somewhere beneath London. Phone receptions is patchy, the walls are rather wet and squidgy and there are some nasty blighters scritching in the corners. Could someone please send help and, if it’s not too much bother, pop down to the [Redacted] Village Local and let Mr Bell know she won’t be home in time to pop his dinner in the oven. Perhaps he could pick up a nice steak and kidney pie so she has something hot and nourishing waiting for her should she find the way out and make her way home before midnight.