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The Bastardy of Edward V in 1484: New evidence of its reception in the inquisitions post mortem of William Lord Hastings

Author:

Gordon McKelvie

University of Winchester, GB
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Abstract

The execution of William, lord Hastings, was one of a series of dramatic events leading up to Richard III’s usurpation in 1483. After this dramatic event, the English chancery carried on with the mundane process of conducting an inquisition post mortem (IPM) into the land he held and the day he died. These documents, along with all of the other IPMs for Richard III’s reign are currently being calendared which will shed much new light on the nature of his government.  Among the information recorded in them was the date of Hastings’ death which was recorded as ‘13 June in the year of Edward V, the bastard’. This note shows that the precise formula used to express the date on which Hastings died is significant for three reasons: it contributes an important additional piece of evidence to the debate about the actual day on which Hastings was executed; it throws light on Richard III’s claim that Edward V was a bastard during Richard’s reign; and it provides an example of the way in which deposed kings were referred to in official documents after their deposition.

How to Cite: McKelvie, G., (2016). The Bastardy of Edward V in 1484: New evidence of its reception in the inquisitions post mortem of William Lord Hastings. Royal Studies Journal. 3(1), pp.71–79. DOI: http://doi.org/10.21039/rsj.v3i1.75
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Published on 29 Jun 2016.
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