Sunday, 27 March 2011

Wiltshire and Ormonde

I have just noticed a contradiction in my sources as to the execution site of James Butler, Earl of Wiltshire and Ormonde. In a previous post I implied he had died at Cockermouth, but since then I have discovered (according to Charles Ross) he was beheaded in Edward's presence at Newcastle. I may as well frankly admit that I don't know for sure which account is correct, though I should be surprised if Ross is mistaken. I shall look into this and get back to you, but for the time being please assume he was captured at Cockermouth and beheaded at Newcastle, as I suspect that's what happened.

3 comments:

Elizabeth said...

I don't at all intend this question to be flip or come across as vapid but, is this detail important for anything other than historical accuracy? My true question, I guess, is is there something 'important' about being executed in a monarch's presence?

Brian said...

I suppose, Elizabeth, that it does add a certain cachet. I can't think of that many cases where executions were carried out in the monarch's presence. Hugh Despenser the Younger's execution was witnessed by Queen Isabella. Perhaps it implies a 'personal' element, or in this case it might have been a way of stressing Edward's new authority in the midst of pro-Lancastrian territory. Shock and awe, in effect.

Elizabeth said...

Thanks!