Lovell our Dogge: The Life of Viscount Lovell, Closest Friend of Richard III and Failed Regicide
By Michele Schindler
Michele Schindler’s book on Sir Francis Lovell is a long-overdue study of an extraordinary man. A man who gave up the promise of a pardon and the return of his lands, property and position, to seek justice for his close and beloved friend, Richard III.
Schindler details the early years of Lovell’s life. As well as detailing information about Lovell’s grandparents, parents and siblings she also discusses the interesting relationship that Lovell had with his father. Schindler provides very plausible evidence to suggest that Lovell may have been abused in some manner by his father, a horrific thing to happen to a child and a strong reason as to why Lovell never had prayers said for the man after his death.
Lovell’s rise to his majority and then through the political ranks seems almost insignificant. He was a man who came across as emotional, caring deeply about his friends and family and caring little for the turbulent life at court. That is not to say he was not proficient at the duties he was given at court. He showed himself to be extremely skilled in organization and preparation and was heavily relied on by Richard III. In fact, Lovell became Lord Chamberlin for Richard III, a position that required Lovell to be in close contact with the King, to have control over who got to see the king and required a huge amount of trust and loyalty. And loyal Lovell was.
After Richard III’s death at the Battle of Bosworth Lovell continued to prove his loyalty to his king and beloved friend. He sought sanctuary and there he turned down a pardon from Henry VII, giving up his freedom and life in order to seek justice and perhaps revenge for the death of his friend. From here Lovell helped to organize a rebellion, attempted capture of Henry and even an assassination attempt upon the new king.
Lovell played an important part in the uprising of 1487 where John de la Pole, the Earl of Lincoln led an army against Henry VII. History tells us that the rebels were crushed and Lincoln killed but what of Lovell? That perhaps is one of the greatest mysteries in history. After the 16th June 1487, Lovell was not seen again. What happened to him? Where did he go? Why did no one give him up or speak of his whereabouts? All these questions and more Schindler discusses in her book, though I will not give away her findings!
Lovell our Dogge is an absolutely fascinating book about a man often forgot to history. Francis Lovell was a well respected, deeply loved man who was fiercely loyal to his friend and king, Richard III. Although he held no love for political life, he still performed all his duties to the very best of his abilities. He gave up the chance for freedom to seek justice for the wrong he felt committed against his beloved friend and ultimately gave his life for this cause.
Michele Schindler has clearly delved into a huge array of primary sources from the time, not just from England but also from Europe. If there is a mention of Lovell out there I am sure Schindler has read it!
This is a brilliant book. Well written and captivating to read, I highly recommend getting a copy!