A briefer entry today…
On Saturday 20th August, the Earl of Northumberland arrived with his men, to join the royal grouping, with the armed men at large being controlled by the Duke of Norfolk, who had also reached Leicester with his own men from East Anglia.
And so, most of Richard men were now present, and gathering at Leicester, for what was Richard’s last night in the city. In the same manner as legends surround the building in which he slept, there is also keen debate over the bed.
According to tradition, Richard had his own bed brought with him from Nottingham Castle, and installed in the inn’s “large, gloomy chamber”. He apparently left it there, either intending to return to it, after any battle which may occur, or to have it sent onto him, wherever he travelled to next.
It is noted that Richard was a person who “slept ill in strange beds”, so it is no surprise that he chose to sleep in his own bed where he could.
After the battle then, the bed stayed at the inn. There is a tale that over a century later, the wife of the then owner discovered a hoard of gold coins hidden in a false bottom within the bed – King Richard’s money? There is a legend that the bed survives; however, even the legend admits that although some of the bed may be of the correct period, there are also much later additions.
I suppose the real question is, is he still hanging about? Personally, I’m not a believer, but never mind. If he was hanging around, then in my opinion, he’d be at the Tower of London – but you’ll have to read my upcoming novel to find out why!! An obvious plug, but I think I’m allowed one here or there!