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Branches of the Rose

from “The Rose of England”, about 1486:

“This Rose (Edward IV) was fair, fresh to behold;
Springing with many a royal lance;
A crowned King, with a crown of gold;
Over England, Ireland, and France.
Then came in a beast men call a Boar (Richard);
And he rooted the garden up and down;
By the seed of the Rose (Edward IV’s sons and daughters), he set no store;
But afterwards it (Elizabeth of York) wore the crown.
He took the branches of the Rose (Edward’s sons) away;
And all in sunder did them tear;
And he buried them under a clod of clay
Swore they should never bloom nor bear.”

Christ’s Angels

from “Ode on the Battle of Bosworth” by Welsh bard Dafydd Llwyd ap Llewelyn ap Griffid of Mathafarn, 1486

“The sad-lipped Saracen…the little caterpillar of London,
A servile Boar wrought penance upon Edward’s sons in prison…
Shame on the sad-lipped Saracen that he slew Christ’s angels.
He slew without favor of the Bench his two young nephews.
By the miracles of Non (St. David’s mother), he caused disgrace,
the bravery of cruel Herod
(who ended his life as) a dog slain in a ditch.”

To Avenge the White

The Boar’s tusks quailed;
And to avenge the White,
The Red Rose bloomed.
the Croyland Chronicler, quoting verses by a “certain poet”

Under a Hog

“The Cat (Catesby), the Rat (Ratcliffe), and Lovell our Dog, ruleth all England under a Hog (Richard III).”
by William Collyngbourne

Humpty Dumpty

Humpty Dumpty (Richard III) sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall (Battle of Bosworth).
All the King’s horses and all the King’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty together again.

Hi Diddle Diddle

Hi diddle diddle, the Cat (Catsby) and the fiddle;
The cow (Anne Neville) jumped over the moon (became Queen).
The little dog (Lovell) laughed to see such fun;
and the Dish (Richard the Devil (or “Dish”)) ran away with the spoon (at the coronation, for the anointing oil)”

Bought and Sold

Jockey of Norfolk, be not bold,
For Dickon thy master is bought and sold.
(verses posted on the Duke of Norfolk’s tent before the Battle of Bosworth)

Welcome Gentle Uncle

“How like you the killing of my brothers dear?
Welcome, gentle Uncle, home!”
(Elizabeth of York in the ballad “The Most Pleasant Ballad of the Lady Bessy”)

Anonymous, 1971

“Richard III could not straight run; He was blinded by Edward’s own dear son.”