Sunday 26 August 2012

Germans Everywhere? - Even without a functioning Tourism Industry

Last Wednesday, the 22nd of August 2012, a man who had influenced me while growing up, in my beliefs and the true value of lived charity and friendlyness, died. He was very old, so you can't say it was unexpected, but thinking and remembering the good times and wonderful events we had attended and where we had often met, I remembered a quote, because I will ever remember this man with great fondness. His encouraging nature and care for others created an atmosphere of friendliness and with this he could set the tone in a whole town. You see, I am still impressed by this person's achievements.
The quote I remembered, mentions 'a great heart' and this, not only because of his passing away on the same day as King Richard III reminded me of the king and let me also think about what King Richard III as a person would have been like or what he missed out on because of his loss at Bosworth.

Now here the quote I refer to:

"...three fingers taller than myself...also much more lean; he had delicate arms and legs, also a great heart..." - Nicholas von Poppelau, Diary,1484 (Quoted after:

Nicholas von Poppelau (also written Popplau), a Silesian Knight working for the Emperor Friedrich III, traveled Europe and its important courts. In the year 1484, he came to England, on his tour and here he traveled north, to meet the king. First of all, he had already visited other European courts to compare King Richard III's court with, because of his previous journeys. Second he is assumed to have written down his reports from his notes during the journey, after his return home in the years 1485 and 1486. So his opinion must still have been the same, after seeing the courts in Spain and Paris. What he tells about the king, lies in stark contrast to what we otherwise know about King Richard III.

Nicholas von Poppelau tells about the king that he was musically interested - in such a way, that the choir and mass Nicholas von Poppelau heard at his court, was among the best he had ever heard and he was full of praise for the musicality of the king.

He also writes, that King Richard was 3 fingers larger than himself (who as knight can't have been too small for the time). So no trace of the hunchbacked, deformed and belittled king, who was envious and angry, because he could not compare with the impressive brother, King Edward IV. Though he describes King Richard III as larger, but skinnyer than himself.

Nicholas von Poppelau clearly was impressed from the openness, piety and entire behaviour of the king and praised Richard III for his clear head.

Nicholas von Poppelau's travel report is a good source, as for one, it shows that 'Germans' can be found everywhere, even before a working tourism industry. And for another, he comes to England at a critical time, during his reign as king of England in May 1484.
He also is invaluable, as in his role as independent visitor, (working for the Emperor, but neither for the Lancastrian or Yorkist side) he neither has interests in the Lancastrian or Yorkist point of view and so is an outside report about happenings and the conduct of the 'maligned' king. His report therefore does not have the goal to either promote or disgrace King Richard III. He most likely was there, to gain support and favourable opinion for the emperor in search for allies.

So Nicholas von Poppelau certainly is a source worth examining closer.
There are articles about Nicholas von Poppelaus diary I could not get hold of so far, but those would certainly  be an interesting read. (Noted for later detective work ;o)

So far a wonderful resource was:
Dr. David Hipshon's work: "Richard III and the Death of Chivalry"

King Richard Week 2012 with the daily Quiz questions for the scavenger hunt during the event week.
(KRA Week 2012 News - Day 5)

Blogger of the day is Fabo Laktuko at her blog WhiteRose: Sincere and Simple Thoughts (you may guess twice, what the white rose stands for). Fabo Laktuko is an experienced film-commentator and goes into analysis, which directors could possibly support Mr. Armitage in his filming project "King Richard III".

Did you have a look at Servetus' blog, to get tips and hints about the Scavenger Hint of the KRA Week? Here are some more for day 5.
And Servetus in her unique way analyses King Richard III's thumbs in comparison to Mr. Armitage's and their decisiveness in battle ;o)


  1. How lovely to bring together the mentor whose life you remembered this weekend, with the fascinating von Poppelau and a king whose motto was "Loyaulte me lie". Thank you for the reminder of the German traveler.