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One Prince of Wales Born and Two Princes Murdered

King Henry the 7th of England's new son, Arthur, is born. The heir apparent is always named the Prince of Wales and Arthur is no exception. The old "Prince of Wales" has been gone for several years now. There were actually two... locked in the Tower of London: The first was the son of King Edward the 4th who died 86 days after Richard, the Duke of Gloucester, became his regent. The other was Richard's own son who was said to be frail and might have died of natural causes. Since a mystery surrounds the death of the Two Princes, King Henry appreciates a poet's new verse that accuses the dead King Richard the 3rd of murdering the Two Princes. King Henry is so impressed, he pays the poet a pension and makes him a permanent staff member of the king's court. [1] [2] [3] [4]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Many accounts of this period were written by King Richard's detractors. On the other hand, Richard was a bad boy. He likely murdered King Henry the 6th. Richard never defended his brother, the Duke of Clarence, who was drowned in a butt of malmsey wine (a little over 125 gallons) for the crime of treason. King Henry the 7th was scarey so it was sensible to write only good things about him and bad things about his predecessor, King Richard... kind of like how the modern day press writes generally good things about President Obama and generally bad things about President Bush. I'm not a fan of President Bush but he wasn't Satan's spawn either, so when I see water-boarding being compared to the Bataan Death March, it is difficult to judge just how bad some of the bad things really were. 500 years from now, how will historians judge these times if all they have in their hands are newspaper accounts and nightly news broadcasts?[5] [6] [7]

Standing Tall in Florence... the Medici Giraffe

Florence gets a giraffe! The Mamluke Sultan of Egypt has been looking for support from Lorenzo the Magnificent of Florence so he sends him a giraffe for his zoo. It causes a sensation and a local painter named Domenico Ghirlandaio [doe-MIN-ih-co GEAR-lahn-DYE-yo] includes the giraffe as part of the background in his painting of Florence life along with the Egyptians who delivered the animal. Domenico ran a painter's workshop. His most famous apprentice will be Michelangelo, sculptor and painter of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. [8] [9] [10] [11]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The significance of this gift is that the only other time a giraffe appeared in Italy was in the year 46 BCE when Julius Caesar returned from Africa after a successful campaign and brought home a giraffe. It was a representation of triumph. The implied comparison between Lorenzo the Magnificent and Julius Caesar was not lost on the crowd in Florence and it will be remembered 64 years after his death. The giraffe will appear opposite Lorenzo in a painting by Giorgio Vasari [JORGE-oh vah-ZAR-ee]. The composition balances Lorenzo and the "beast of triumph" so to speak. The artist certainly was implying this as part of the message.

The Mad War Returns *

The War of the Public Weal (or the Mad War) was organized by the nobles against central control by the king of France. Currently the King of France is Charles the 8th... who is 3 years old. Whenever a king is this young the nobles get restless. It's a power struggle where the nobles are trying to be mini-kings... or perhaps be king of France themselves. This is the Mad War. They called for a truce last year and it's been holding but now Maximilian the 1st has invaded the north of France and chaos ensues. The exact details are not enlightening. Suffice it to say that some people escape. Others are chased. Arrows. Guns shots. Boom. This Mad War will continue until 1488 when the Breton forces will be subdued and the Duke of Orléans is captured. [12] [13]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Maximilian the 1st is the same guy who was named Holy Roman Emperor. He was also trying to gain control of Flanders through his son who was the rightful Count of Flanders and very young. His father, Maximilian, tried to rule Flanders as his son's regent, but the people of Flanders didn't like the arrangement and wanted a local committee to act as regent. Maximilian eventually sent troops in to make them comply, but as you'll find throughout history even into the present day... the people of Flanders are difficult to push around... really, really difficult.

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1486, Wikipedia.

See Also


* The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
  1. Weir, Alison (1992). "Chapter 1 Richard III and the Chroniclers", The Princes in the Tower. New York: Ballantine Books. ISBN 9780307806840. “In its introduction, he praised Richard III lavishly, but in September 1486, under Henry VII, he wrote a poem to mark the birth of Henry's son Arthur, in which he savagely accused Richard of murdering the Princes in the Tower and Henry VI, amongst other crimes. This seems to have won him the King's favour, for that same month Henry granted him a pension and made him his Latin secretary, chaplain and lute player.” 
  2. Arthur, Prince of Wales - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 11 December 2014.
  3. Elizabeth of York - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 11 December 2014.
  4. Ingulf. Ingulph's chronicle of the abbey of Croyland with the continuations by Peter of Blois and anonymous writiers. H.G. Bohn. 
  5. George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 16 December 2014.
  6. Malvasia (Malmsey) - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 16 December 2014.
  7. Princes in the Tower - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 16 December 2014.
  8. Joost-Gaugier, Christiane L. (1987). Lorenzo the Magnificent and the Giraffe as a Symbol of Power. Artibus et Historiae. 8. IRSA s.c.. pp. 91-99. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1483302. 
  9. Medici giraffe - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 12 December 2014.
  10. Medici Giraffe (painting) - Wikimedia Commons. commons.wikimedia.org (1490). Retrieved on 16 December 2014.
  11. Lorenzo de' Medici - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 16 December 2014.
  12. Mad War - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 12 December 2014.
  13. Charles VIII of France - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 16 December 2014.

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