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The First Tudor and the Lost Battle of Bosworth Field

For one of the most significant battles in English history, there are no good sources that tell of exactly what happened at the Battle of Bosworth Field. King Richard the 3rd of England will die in a last, mad charge after his knights abandon him. Henry the 7th will be crowned as king under an oak tree shortly thereafter as the first Tudor king. If this sounds a little too romantic... or like a load of hooey... well... King Henry hired several chroniclers to record what happened and you get what you pay for. With so little reliable information, the battle is described in rich detail in fiction. Shakespeare's play, named King Richard the 3rd, remains popular (to say the least) and includes that famous phrase shouted by the king, "A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!" King Richard's body will finally be discovered under a parking lot in 2012. The back of his skull doesn't look too good indicating he probably died from an axe to the head. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
King Henry the 7th was fighting on the side of the Lancasters in the War of the Roses. While technically a Lancaster through his grandmother Queen Catherine (a Lancaster by marriage) King Henry should be considered mostly Welsh due to his father, Edmund Tudor. With the death of King Richard, the Plantagenet dynasty's hold on the English throne ends. The House of Tudor will hold the throne until 1603 under Elizabeth the 1st.[7] [8] [9]

Dead in a Day! Sweating Sickness Becomes an Epidemic *

If the reports are to be believed, a deadly disease has hit England a few days after the future king of England, Henry the 7th, lands on shore to take back the English throne in the War of the Roses. The obvious conclusion is that King Henry brought it along with him from France where his ships had been days before. This deadly sickness takes hold and rapidly kills thousands. A person can feel fine in the morning and be dead before lunch. Symptoms will vary depending on the year that it hits but generally one gets a high fever, shortness of breathe and extreme sweating. If you can somehow survive 24 hours, you will survive. This disease will be called the "English Sweating Sickness" but it won't limit itself to England. In particular it will hit Germany and they will complain mightily that England gave them no notice nor advice for a cure. (There is no cure.) Oddly enough, it mostly hits the aristocracy and the rich. It will appear 4 times over the years and finally disappear in 1551. Medical historians suspect that it may have been an early version of the Hanta virus which is passed by breathing in the smell of feces and urine of infected rodents. [10] [11] [12] [13]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Hanta virus is rare in the USA with one case in New York being reported by a man who had been bitten by a rat while camping in a lean-to in 2012. (He survived.) Viruses mutate and often become less deadly as they are passed along. Sometimes they become MORE deadly. If the sweating sickness was the Hanta virus it was not passed from person-to-person. You get it by breathing in the leavings of infected rodents such as feces, urine or food that rodents have accessed. The Center for Disease Control advises that when camping one should not sleep directly on the ground and that food containers should be rodent-proof. Given how rare it is in the United States, though, it's probably not worth worrying about at the time of this writing, that is...2014).[14]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1485, Wikipedia.

See Also


* The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
  1. Meyer, Gerald J. (2010). "Prologue", The Tudors: the Complete Story of England's Most Notorious Dynasty. New York: Delacorte Press. ISBN 9780385340762. “But because we have no eyewitness accounts, nor even any accounts written while memories of the battle were still fresh, we know far less about it than historians have traditionally pretended.” 
  2. Battle of Bosworth Field - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 14 December 2014.
  3. Henry VII of England - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 14 December 2014.
  4. Fricker, Martin. "Writer reveals intuition led archaeologists to King Richard III's remains", Daily Record, Trinity Mirror, February 5, 2013. Retrieved on 11 December 2014. “Edinburgh-based Philippa Langley was researching a play on the king, known as Crookback because of his deformed spine, when she had a hunch she was standing on his grave. She funded a dig of the site -- a council car park in Leicester.” 
  5. Staff writer (February 4, 2013). BBC News - Richard III dig: DNA confirms bones are king's. bbc.com. Retrieved on 11 December 2014. “His skeleton had suffered 10 injuries, including eight to the skull, at around the time of death. Two of the skull wounds were potentially fatal.”
  6. Kennedy, Maev (February 4, 2013). Richard III: DNA confirms twisted bones belong to king | UK news | The Guardian. TheGuardian.com. Retrieved on 11 December 2014. “There was an audible intake of breath as a slide came up showing the base of his skull sliced off by one terrible blow, believed to be from a halberd, a fearsome medieval battle weapon with a razor-sharp iron axe blade weighing about two kilos, mounted on a wooden pole, which was swung at Richard at very close range.”
  7. House of Plantagenet - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 14 December 2014.
  8. Tudor dynasty - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 14 December 2014.
  9. Catherine of France - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 14 December 2014.
  10. Sweating sickness - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 12 December 2014.
  11. The Sweating Sickness Returns. DiscoverMagazine.com (June 1, 1997). Retrieved on 14 December 2014. “Now physicians Vanya Gant and Guy Thwaites, both of St. Thomas' Hospital in London, think they may have identified the killer. Sudor Anglicus, they say, may have been an early version of a disease that has made headlines in recent years: hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, which erupted in the Four Corners region of the American Southwest in the summer of 1993.”
  12. Sweating-Sickness 'English Sweat' - England Under the Tudors. Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th Edition. Volume 26 (2014). Retrieved on 14 December 2014. “The malady was remarkably rapid in its course, being sometimes fatal even in two or three hours, and some patients died in less than that time. More commonly it was protracted to a period of twelve to twenty-four hours, beyond which it rarely lasted. Those who survived for twenty-four hours were considered safe.”
  13. Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS). CDC.gov (2014). Retrieved on 15 December 2014. “Rodent infestation in and around the home remains the primary risk for hantavirus exposure.”
  14. Case of Hantavirus Confirmed in New York State. NY State Department of Health (October 22, 2012). Retrieved on 15 December 2014. “The individual reports that on August 26, 2012 he was bitten by a rodent while camping in a lean-to shelter in the Adirondacks. According to the man, he did not experience symptoms until late September; he was hospitalized for nearly a week before recovering.”

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