So lets think of something more cheerful about poor Richard...he had two daughters and either five or six sons. One son was given the estates back a few years after Richards death...they were automatically confiscated if you were found guilty of a heinous crime. Few records still exist to confirm his childrens marriages...that's another case of believing whatever record you happen upon and hoping for the best...

In the painting he is wearing a full-length cloak with what looks like a gold chain around his shoulders and Dudley has on a cloak trimmed with was probably ermine. There were strict rules in force as to which class of person could wear certain furs...even as to how long and wide the fur was. Ermine was the mark of a person high-born...if you were of a lower class then your clothes were trimmed with rabbit or cat. The peasant class could use a small amount of wolf fur or fox for their clothing.

Neither of the men would have been wearing their swords in the presence of the King...they'd have been removed when they entered the Kings Chambers and handed back when they were leaving...swords were a normal part of outside dress for the nobility...especially for a Knight.

Peasants would never have been allowed to carry a weapon in public places...they'd not have been able to afford a sword anyway which were often beautifully decorated with precious stones and fine engraving...the peasants carried short, stout sticks instead...

Richard would have lived on meat...venison and mutton mostly, with shellfish...especially oysters. And he'd have had pottage...a sort of porridge made with coarse oats cooked with root vegetables. Pottage was the staple diet of the peasant classes unless they had the Lord's permission to hunt for rabbit on his land...or were brave or foolhardy enough to go poaching. White bread was extremely popular...again only available to the upper classes. Honey was used heavily in both sweet and savoury dishes...platters of sweetmeats made from nuts rolled in honey and baked and sweet puddings of milk possets laced with honey were the sign of an affluent household.

Now Richard lived in a country house where at least the open drains and hovels of the cities were out of his sight...but when he was in London attending to the King he'd have walked along narrow streets filled with stinking rubbish and open drains full of urine and faeces...both human and animal. He'd have had to sidestep dead horses and dogs corpses lying there rotting and would no doubt have been beset by beggars and skinny diseased children...the water wasn't fit to drink so alehouses abounded...but they were frequented by thieves and vagabonds who drank themselves into a stupor on cheap, poorly made ale...

Hawkers sold everything from bunches of sweet violets to little girls they'd snatched off the street...he could have bought a mutton pie to eat as he made his way across the city though he'd have no doubt given the seller a wide berth especially afer the time he'd been hungry and had risked eating one, only to be stricken with stomach cramps for days afterwards.

Illness in Mediaeval times was thought to be Divine retribution so he'd probably not have bothered with seeking medical advice...and if he had, the remedy would have been worse than the complaint.

So what did a Knight like Richard do for entertainment...he would have attended formal dances at Court and while he was on his country estate he'd have had taken his falcons out to hunt other birds and hare and rabbit, he would have hunted for deer with his friends and probably spent time entertaining with dinners meant to impress as well as entertain....his children were quite likely to be strangers to him ...he'd not have spent enough time at home to get to know them. Like others in his social position, as long as he had sons to inherit his estates then he'd not have been too concerned with their would have been a different story when his daughters grew into marriageable age and needed to have wedding matches made with suitable men from families with their own social background. Richard would have been involved in the wheeling and dealing of those arrangements...we'll never know how much or how little he arranged his daughters matches though.

In many ways Richard was a man and a Knight of his times. He was highly educated...held positions of authority...had made a 'good' marriage and was in cohoots with the King. Then his entire world must have crumbled around his feet...accused of crimes which were at best trumped up by the new ruler and at their worst horribly exaggerated....he found himself one August morning facing the axe.

Richard and Dudley hold the unenviable place of being the very first two men to be executed by the new King...Henry V111....the King went on to have very many more people put to death over his time on the throne of England.

So how does this Knight from the late Mediaeval period who lost his head on Tower Hill contect with our need to work your way back from Teresa's Nana Lily who was a country lady through and through and lived her entire life in the same small Suffolk village...back to the fiesty Martha...back to people who ended their short lives in the local Workhouses...and just keep going on through generation after generation...back over five hundred years until we reach the Empson family...and the it is history!