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King Richard III 1483-5

                                      The Gold Angel & Battle of Bosworth Field 
22nd August 1485
Remarks surrounding the disappearance of King Edward’s children in the Tower of London

   
A gold ANGEL coin (1483-1485) with a value of 6 Shilling & 8d.
Whoever owned such a coin was a person of wealth. 
The image of the Archangel Saint Michael slaying a dragon.
The image of an English galley with the monogram 'R' over “E” and a rose set below the main topmast, the ship surmounted by a shield bearing the King's arms, the legend inscribed 
PER CRVCE TVA SALVA NOS XPC REDE. RICARD DI GRA REX ANGL Z FRANC
A superb specimen Good EF Weight 5.16g
Full flan, frosted surfaces, superb detail of mintmarks and St,Michael, 
Unique ID: LEIC-E209C1


  
A wonderful mint mark 'boars head'

The GOLD ANGEL seen below is a very rare gold coin struck in the name of Richard III, a King of Machiavellian intrigue and was found not far from the site of the battle, only several miles away. Richard III who took the Crown of England 500 years ago to become King and put the two young Princes of his late brother Edward IV in the Tower of London that had to die to achieve his ambition. Hated by many he was the last King (age 32) to lose his life on the battlefield, having been King for just over two years.

King Richard III human remains were uncovered in September 2012 in what is now the car park of Leicester City Council’s social services department. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leicestershire-21063882 .The body found in the car park has an arrow in its back – matching Richard’s death at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485. It also has scoliosis – severe curvature of the spine – tying in with the famous description by Shakespeare and others of the monarch as a hunchback.

The coin below was found in Oct. 2012 at the time Richard III remains were discovered. The coin a piece of history was auctioned by Spinks London in December 2012 and acquired by www.petitioncrown.com

In the summer of 1485, an unknown person lost this freshly minted angel very close to the site of the Battle of Bosworth in the county of Leicestershire. Was he one of Richard III’s or Henry Tudor’s soldiers making his way to do battle in the seemingly endless conflict of the ‘War of the Roses’, or was the coin lost whilst the previous owner was leaving to return home? We can never know if the coin witnessed the battle. The location of the battle has become the subject of considerable debate with at least three sites very close to each other in contention. The currently favoured location is near Stoke Golding, two miles to the south-west of the previously accepted battle site on account of new archaeological evidence. But irrespective of the actual site of the battle, its loss so soon after being struck as witnessed by the quality of the coin is a bonus for the modern collector as a piece of such quality is a rarity. Richard III’s wonderful ‘boar’s head’ mint mark is as clear as a summer day. 

Bosworth was possibly England’s most important battle. The fortunes of the two Houses contesting the throne of medieval England were reversed; where history was about to have a change of author; where a rebel force defeated the King’s army which was twice its size; where King Richard III of England died on the battle field, the last King to be killed at battle and with this the Yorkist claim to the throne was effectively quashed. Like a phoenix from the ashes, Henry VII was to stake his claim to the English throne and reinstate the House of Lancaster as the Royal line following the deposition of Henry VI by Edward IV in 1461 and again in 1471. 

Richard III made many enemies along the way, not least because he was not first in line for the throne and had acquired it under a cloud of suspicion. Richard III was the brother of Edward IV he was given custody of his nephews (Edward V and the Duke of York) on Edward IV death on 9th April 1483. Richard had them locked up in the Tower of London, they disappeared and Richard acceded to the throne on 26th June that year.

Minting of money and death went together. Sir Robert Brackenbury (Master of the Money in the Tower) was the only person allowed to mint Angels. Brackenbury was also Constable of the Tower of London were the young nephews were held. 

Whatever happened to the Princes in the Tower, Brackenbury as Constable of the Tower of London was party to the outcome of the fate of Richard III's nephews. Thomas More later says that after the coronation on 6 July 1483 while on his way to Gloucester, Richard ordered Sir James Tyrrell to go to Brackenbury with a letter by which he was commanded to deliver to Sir James all the keys of the Tower for one night, "to the end he might there accomplish the King’s pleasure".

When Richard III marched against the invader Henry, Sir Robert Brackenbury hurried himself to reach the King and arrived two days before the Battle of Bosworth Field (22 August 1485), he had joint command of Richard's vanguard; he took part in the final charge on Henry and was killed fighting beside Richard III.

A jig-saw of treachery, Richard was who was supposed to be the ‘protector’, created a web of mystery as to who gave the order for the death of the young Princes, children that should have been Kings of England.

Treachery and changing sides was the order of the day during the Wars of the Roses where nobody’s support could be taken for granted and none more so than during this final battle when Stanley’s soldiers changed sides, taking with them one third of Richard’s 12000 strong army thus providing Henry with the larger force. On seeing this defection, Richard’s reserves led by the Earl of Northumberland failed to join in battle and this proved decisive in sealing Richard’s fate after only a couple of hours.

With the defeat of Richard at Bosworth, the near 90 year old festering sore arising from the overthrow of Richard II by Henry IV was finally resolved when Henry Tudor married Edward IV’s daughter Elizabeth in 1486, thus uniting the two warring factions.  

Richard III is the subject of an eponymous play by William Shakespeare.