… and why there should be a statue of him there!
In a blog entitled ‘The Hog, the Dog and the Cat’ (link below), historian Mike Ingram discusses the many connections of the English midlands county of Northamptonshire to various events and individuals during the Wars of the Roses.
King Richard himself was of course born there in 1452 in the castle of Fotheringhay, sadly now no more than a mound and earthworks, although the nearby church holds the tombs of his father, mother and brother Edmund, as well as a chapel and fine window dedicated to him and his family.
Another important connection to King Richard – or Duke as he was then – is in the events of April 1483, in the weeks after the death of his brother, King Edward IV. The name of the small town of Stony Stratford is well known to those with a knowledge of the period as the place where Duke Richard met his nephew, Edward, the new, young King, on their way to London for his coronation.
For those with less knowledge of the period – and who may be intending to read The King’s Man, the sequel to The Order of the White Boar – it may be better not to read Mike’s blog too far or too closely. For, as they say, ‘Here be spoilers’!
For the events of The King’s Man begin on the evening before that encounter between the Duke and King Edward V and of course explore their meeting in detail – as seen through the eyes of our young hero, Matthew Wansford. Matt had met Edward at court the previous winter and they had ridden out together in the countryside around Westminster on Twelfth Night (a somewhat snowy day that year – unlike today…). As he arrives in the town of Northampton that evening in the entourage of the Duke, Matt hopes that, despite the changes that have occurred in both their lives, the young King will greet him again as a friend.
What happens then and over the following weeks is as much a surprise to the two boys as it is to the rest of their countrymen.