New publication: ‘The Bastardy of Edward V in 1484: New evidence of its reception in the inquisitions post mortem of William, Lord Hastings’, Royal Studies Journal, 3 (2016), 71-9.

One of the objectives of the ‘Mapping the Medieval Countryside’ project was to consider new ways in which the documents could be used to address broader historical questions. The recent AHRC-funded project has helped to develop a better understanding of these documents and their value for addressing a broad range of historical topics. A recent article by Gordon McKelvie in the Royal Studies Journal has considered the dating clause in the IPMs of William, lord Hastings, in 1484 to show how Richard III’s claim that his nephews were bastards had traction in the localities during his reign.


The execution of William, lord Hastings, was one of a series of dramatic events leading up to Richard III’s usurpation in 1483. After this dramatic event, the English chancery carried on with the mundane process of conducting an inquisition post mortem (IPM) into the land he held and the day he died. These documents, along with all of the other IPMs for Richard III’s reign are currently being calendared which will shed much new light on the nature of his government. Among the information recorded in them was the date of Hastings’ death which was recorded as “13 June in the year of Edward V, the bastard”. This note shows that the precise formula used to express the date on which Hastings died is significant for three reasons: it contributes an important additional piece of evidence to the debate about the actual day on which Hastings was executed; it throws light on Richard III’s claim that Edward V was a bastard during Richard’s reign; and, finally, it provides an example of the way in which deposed kings were referred to in official documents after their deposition.

The article is published by the Royal Studies Journal which is an online and fully open access publication which adhered to the highest standards of double blind peer-review. It includes original articles and book reviews on all aspects of royal and monarchical history for all periods and geographical locations. For anyone wishing to read the article in full, or anything else published on the topic of royal studies, the article can be read here: