SIR JOHN TIPTOFT: Butcher of England

SIR JOHN TIPTOFT: Butcher of England

PETER SPRING    Book Number: 90384    Product format: Hardback

The world of the Wars of the Roses can seem remote, with the throne changing hands between Lancastrian Henry VI and Yorkist Edward IV several times, and courtiers coming and going in rapid and violent succession. This remarkable book follows one leading player in the politics of the time, unravelling back-stabbing manoeuvres and asking whether Sir John Tiptoft deserved the title of "Butcher of England" which contemporaries gave him. The aristocratically born Tiptoft entered Oxford at the age of 13 and gained a reputation as a scholar in an atmosphere of reverence for the new Humanistic learning. He married a duchess at the age of 21, the first of his three wives, who died the following year, and he was related by marriage to Sir John Fastolf, the prototype of Shakespeare's Falstaff, while another relation by marriage was Duke Humphrey, patron of Oxford's Bodleian library. Tiptoft himself was appointed earl of Worcester at the age of 22 in 1449, following heavy losses among the aristocracy in the French wars. In 1451, following Jack Cade's Kentish rebellion, Tiptoft was appointed a commissioner of justice, and the author looks in detail at the original documents and the extent to which his brutal retribution was justified, concluding that it was in line with the customs of the times. Appointed treasurer in 1452, Tiptoft was expected to get a grip on the nation's finances to counteract the periods of madness exhibited by Henry VI. From 1458 Tiptoft travelled extensively in Europe, perhaps to escape the need to take sides between York and Lancaster. On his return Edward IV was on the throne and Tiptoft became a Yorkist but on the restitution of Henry VI in 1470 he was captured and executed, accused of illegal beheadings and unnecessary cruelty in the use of hanging, drawing and quartering and impalement. 382pp, photos.
Published price: £25
Bibliophile price: £12.00

Additional product information

ISBN 9781783463824
Browse these categories as well: Historical Biography, History

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