The Ricardian Model

With Richard III much in the news lately, I’ve been inspired to reread Paul Murray Kendall’s excellent biography of the king (Kindle edition here). Here’s a little tidbit I learned from that book:

In early 1464, with Lancastrian rebellions breaking out all over England, King Edward IV found it prudent to raise an army. He therefore dispatched “commisions of array” to the twenty-two counties of southern England, each charged with rounding up the able-bodied men of the county and turning them into an army. In most cases, the county commission consisted of a half dozen or more men, including one great magnate. But Richard, Edward’s brother, inspired so much trust that he was appointed sole commissioner for nine counties — everything from Shropshire and Warwickshire through Somerset to Devon and Cornwall. Richard, in other words, was solely responsible for levying troops from a quarter of the realm. He was not yet twelve years old.

This makes me believe that my seventeen-year-old stepdaughter has too few chores.

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8 Responses to “The Ricardian Model”


  1. 1 1 Kirk

    Careful, she’ll raise some troops on your a**

  2. 2 2 Jonathan Kariv

    Well Richard DID get made duke of Gloucester (thanks wiki) for his chores. Before someone points it out to me, yes a 21st century teenager is probably better off than a 15th century prince (but is worse off relative to neighbours).

    I was going to try to talk about modern technology making our lives easier and try figure out if this should mean fewer or more chores. But I keep getting stuck with this image of her raising troops via a facebook event.

  3. 3 3 Al V.

    Two enjoyable novels touching on Richard’s life: “The Daughter of Time”, by Josephine Tey, was voted the best mystery novel of all time by the Crime Writers Association. It concerns a detective who is in hospital and to fill his time he investigates the mystery of the murders of the “Princes in the Tower”.

    Also, of course, “The Black Arrow”, by R.L. Stevenson, is a novel of the War of the Roses, wherein the Duke of Gloucester is a character. However, it contains many historical inaccuracies.

  4. 4 4 Steve Landsburg

    Al V: Tey’s book is (aside from its literary merits) mostly a recap of Markham’s arguments. The appendix to Kendall’s book is a good place to see those arguments largely refuted.

  5. 5 5 Harold

    There was an interesting program about the discovery in Leaicester. Ricardians had been arguing vehemently that Richard III did not have a hunch-back. It was interesting to see the reaction when the skeleton in the car-park was revealed to have a very twisted spine! At this point they did not know for certain he was Richard, but it was looking pretty likely. The twist would probably have been obvious only without clothes.

  6. 6 6 Ken B

    @Harold: If you were parked on your spine would get twisted to.

  7. 7 7 JS

    Maybe too few chores go hand in hand with a lack of trust in maturity. I mean, in Britain 15 year olds are regularly brought to school in cars because parents think it would be too dangerous to let them walk on their own (http://rethinkingchildhood.com/2013/01/14/children-freedom-england-germany/).

  8. 8 8 Ken B

    A propos of nothing, a random act of music http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAaq2gYvOw8
    What the heck, two random acts of music http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vahN4w13L3k

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