I don’t remember not being a Richard III supporter. I vaguely remember coming home from junior school with the then authorised version of the nasty hunch-backed king who murdered his nephews, and my dad giving me the revised version. I do remember a trip to London when I was 13, visiting the Tower, and Dad having to be restrained from crashing into one of the guided tours because the Yeoman Warder doing the talk was pointing out the Bloody Tower and the gruesome & grisly tale of the poor mites. Then I read Josephine Tey’s Daughter of Time. That’s always a good place to start, even if some of the stuff in it is now viewed with a touch of scepticism. Then I read Rosemary Hawley-Jarman’s We Speak No Treason, fell in love, as teenagers are wont to do, with the romantic hero, and cried at the end.
Believing the other myth about Richard, that his remains had been disinterred & thrown in the Rover Soar incensed me, and had me bemoaning the fact that this one king had no tomb, particularly when standing by the tomb of Henry VII’s father in St David’s Cathedral, and wishing I had my dancing clogs with me, so I could dance on his grave.
I first went to Middleham when I was 18, my last summer holiday with my parents. Ten years later I moved to Yorkshire, from Buckinghamshire, but still a fair distance from the Dales where Richard made his home. When my son was born in 1992 we named him Richard, and he’s always known why. The kids have grown up with the NPG portrait of Richard hanging on the stairs wall, as familiar a face as those of their closest family.
Then came the events of September 2012, and Ricardians across the world found each other through facebook, and battle commenced.