Interesting Facts about King Richard III — Part Four

Countdown: 9 days to go to King Richard III’s reinterment.

Conversation flagging at a cocktail party? Tense moment at the family dinner table? Run into someone at the office water cooler? Hoping to impress your true love with a tasty bit of trivia? Try one of these interesting facts about King Richard III — part of an on-going series — to start the conversation or return it to a more even keel. (You’re most welcome.)

  • Isabella of Castile was once considered a possible match for the future King Richard III, as well as for his older brother Edward IV.
  • The future King Richard III’s first major military engagement was the Battle of Barnet on 14 April 1471 when he was 18 years old.
  • King Richard III’s elevated his supporter, John Howard, to the title of Duke of Norfolk on 28 June 1483, just two days after accepting the crown. Howard’s family became powerful during the reign of Henry VIII and one of his great-great-granddaughters was Elizabeth I and Howard’s senior descendants still hold the title today.
  • William Hastings is the earliest known person to have been beheaded at Tower Green within the Tower of London. The other people beheaded at Tower Green are Queen Anne Boleyn in 1536; King Richard’s niece Margaret, Countess of Salisbury in 1541; Queen Catherine Howard in 1542; Jane Boleyn, Viscountess Rochford in 1542; Lady Jane Grey in 1554; and Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex in 1601.
  • Ralph Fitzherbert‘s effigy shows a Yorkist livery collar of alternating suns and roses, with the White Boar livery badge of King Richard III as a pendant and is the only surviving representation of a boar pendant on an effigy.
  • King Richard III founded the College of Arms in 1484.
  • King Richard III’s wife, Anne, died during a solar eclipse on 16 March 1485.
  • Contemporaries called the Battle of Bosworth the Battle of Redemore, meaning place of reeds, now drained, due to where the battle was fought. It only became known as the Battle of Bosworth a quarter of a century after it was fought.
  • Thomas More’s influential History of King Richard III was left unfinished and published posthumously.
  • In 1957, Laurence Olivier was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor, one of his nine nominations, for his portrayal of King Richard III in the film of the same name, but lost to Yurl Brynner who played another king, Mongkut of Siam, in The King and I.
  • In 1990, Josephine Tey’s 1951 book, The Daughter of Time, about the modern-day investigation of the crimes of King Richard III, was voted number one in The Top 100 Crime Novels of All Time list by the UK Crime Writers’ Association.
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