1485 Battle of Bosworth

Chapter 2 : War of Words

PR is nothing new, and both sides issued statements, denigrating the other side. Having been promised French aid, Henry opened his campaign by writing to potential supporters in England and Wales. In the letters, which he signed HR, to imply Henry Rex, rather than Henry Richmond, he wrote of his gratitude for those who sought to help him to his right inheritance and ‘the just depriving of that homicide and unnatural tyrant which now unjustly bears dominion over you’.

This was probably a reference to the mysterious disappearance of Richard’s nephews, Edward V and Richard, Duke of York, who had never emerged from the Tower of London, after entering it in 1483, ostensibly to prepare for Edward V’s coronation. Henry also swore a public oath (on Christmas Day, 1483) that, should he gain the Crown of England, he would marry Elizabeth of York, elder daughter of the late Edward IV, and, on the supposition that her brothers were dead, the senior Yorkist heir.