Analysis of Crowland’s Section on the Usurpation of Richard III
By Edgar de Blieck
Published Online (2003)
Introduction: Lord Hastings, who seemed to serve these dukes in every way and to have deserved favour of them, bursting with joy over this new world, was asserting that nothing had so far been done except to transfer the government of the kingdom from two blood relatives of the queen to two nobles of the blood royal, moreover he asserted that this had been accomplished without any killing and with only so much blood shed in the affair as might have come from a cut finger. However, a very few days after these words, grief completely took the place of joy. On the previous day, with remarkable shrewdness, the protector had divided the council so that in the morning, part met at Westminster, part in the Tower of London where the king was.
On 13 June, the sixth day of the week, when he came to the council in the Tower, on the authority of the Protector, Lord Hastings was beheaded. Two senior prelates, moreover, Thomas, archbishop of York, and John, bishop of Ely, saved from capital punishment out of respect for their order, were imprisoned in different castles in Wales. In this way, without justice or judgment, the three strongest supports of the new king were removed, and with all the rest of his faithful men expecting something similar these two dukes thereafter did whatever they wanted.
The following Monday they came by boat to Westminster with a great crowd, with swords and clubs and compelled the Lord Cardinal of Canterbury to enter the sanctuary, with many others to call upon the queen, in her kindness, to allow her son Richard, duke of York, to leave and come to the Tower for the comfort of his brother, the king. She willingly agreed to the proposal and sent out the boy who was taken by the Lord Cardinal to the king in the Tower of London.
From that day both these dukes showed their intentions, not in private but openly.