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Benevolent King?
Richard donated funds to many 'chantries'.

Benevolent King?

Was Richard III a wicked and power hungry villain or a wise and benevolent king?

History has regarded him as a cruel and heartless monarch - but was he really? This quiz on some of Richard's acts as king may help you decide for yourself.

Richard abolished the system of benevolences. What was this?
The foundation of hospitals
The use of slave labour
The giving of money to the poor
The purchase of positions of authority
Before Richard's reign people could pay to be given high offices. Richard believed that the best man should be given the job, regardless of his wealth or nobility
Richard donated funds to many 'chantries'. What were these?
Masses devoted to praying for the souls of the dead
Places where soldiers were trained
Hospitals to treat the poor and the sick
Statues and paintings of Richard himself
Richard had the chantries pray for the souls of his family. He also founded colleges where priests could be educated so that even those in remote areas could have access to a learned priest
What did Richard do to people who were too poor to afford legal representation?
Sentenced them without a trial
Confiscated their property
Gave them legal aid
Released them without charge
Richard brought in the first kind of legal aid providing support for those unable to afford lawyers. They were allowed to make direct petitions to the Royal Council
What did Richard make the same throughout his realm?
Spelling and grammar
Court sentences
Weights and measures
Rates of pay
The size of a yard of cloth or a pound of beef varied between merchants. Richard standardised weights and measures so that all merchants had to sell the same sized goods
To protect English trade Richard banned the import of many types of goods but one item in particular was exempt from this ban. What was it?
Trade in books was not affected as Richard valued education and learning. He also promoted the fledgling print industry
Richard brought in laws to stop corruption at local courts which were responsible for markets and fairs. What were these courts called?
Bread-basket courts
Pie-powder courts
Cake-crumb courts
Meat-market courts
Richard was aware of the harm corrupt officials could do to the poorest of his people. He had experienced many cases in his Ducal Council before he became king
Richard was the last English king to die in battle. What did the Tudor historian, Polydore Vergil, say of Richard?
"Richard hid himself behind the front lines of his men"
"Richard was a fine military mind but was killed because he was a poor warrior"
"Richard died fighting courageously but he was ill prepared for battle"
"Richard was killed fighting manfully in the thickest press of his enemies"
Even the Tudors, Richard’s greatest enemies, recognised that he was both a great commander and a brave warrior
Richard changed the rules for what, in order to stop bribery?
Military service
Tax collection
Marking of exams
Jury service
Richard decreed that members of a jury should have an income no less than 20 shillings a year. It was thought that those who were better off would be less open to being bribed
What new rule did Richard bring in for those accused of petty crimes?
They should be pardoned
They should be flogged
They should be given bail
They should be executed
Richard did not think that those accused of minor offences should be imprisoned before they had been tried, as had been the case previously
Richard decided that the law of the land should be written in which language?
Before Richard's reign the laws were written in Latin or French. Richard had the law translated into English and posted in public market places so that all of his subjects could understand it
Author:  Graeme Haw

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