How bad a guy was Richard III?

 

The Telegraph (February 18, 2015)

 
How bad a guy was Richard III? by Dominic Selwood –

As always, I try to be ‘devil’s advocate’ here and raise a few counter arguments, where in my opinion history (so far – the future may prove me wrong) did not leave us enough material to solve the question one way or other.

At least, this article is a good collection of arguments to condemn Richard III in a question where historical sources are not sufficient or trustworthy enough to solve the case.
Following the principle of cui bono unfortunately does not solve this case as straight forward as Dominic Selwood makes it appear in his article.
As ‘cui bono’ also includes the premise of who can profit without letting others know about his committed crime and evade prosecution or condemnation.
That now is a point clearly in Richard III’s favour, which also and especially lawyers would see, as they take that into account when coming to a decision. A legal principle for example is that the most obvious profiteer normally is too frightened about the condemnation to act in his ‘obvious’ favour, but rather acts in complete contrast as a protector.
King Richard III too obviously was the supposed profiteer, so the death could only harm his reputation in a situation where he did not need further confirmation of his power as soon as the parliament decision made him king.
Even a freeing of the princes (his illegitimate nephews without a title at this time) would not have changed the handing over of the crown to the one remaining legitimate ruler of England.

 


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