George, Duke of Clarence Haiku

Did this son of York

Have a ‘whine’ or ‘wine’ problem?

Sources agree – both.

Today on Punchable Faces Week, hark to the tale of George, Duke of Clarence, the most useless of all the spawn of York.

George was born in 1449 to Richard, Duke of York and Cecily Neville, the third of their four surviving sons. (The others being Edward IV, Edmund, and Richard III.) If he was particularly shitty during his childhood, we have no record of it. In any case, Pops rebels against Henry VI, Pops and Edmund get killed, and Edward IV makes a glorious comeback for the York side and becomes king. Yay.

Then Edward married a hot widow, pissing off his cousin, Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick. He rebels, teams up with Henry VI and the Lancastrians, and wins George over by offering up his daughter Isabel to be his wife. “All you have to do is fight for us, call your mom a slut and your big brother a bastard, and maaaaybeeee you’ll be king someday,” said Warwick.

“Sign me up!” replied George.

Yadda yadda, Edward and Richard were chased into exile, they came back and kicked some ass, it finally got through George’s thick skull that no one ever had any intention of making him king (because he was a treacherous little twit), and he made nice with the fam. Peace: restored.

Now George was in a pretty sweet state. He was back in the bosom of his impressively forgiving family, and his father-in-law was dead. Which meant lots of money and land for him, hurray! Except his widowed sister-in-law, Anne, had a new suitor in the form of Richard. If they married, Anne’s inheritance would no longer be at his disposal. And he wanted it, mommy! He doesn’t want to share with Richard! He’s a stupid poo face!

I’m sure there would have been a number of reasonable ways to resolve the issue, but George went for the goddamned ridiculous instead. He went and hid Anne in a fucking COOKHOUSE and Richard had to go find and rescue her. Seriously. This is the sort of shit you’d expect to find in the more contrived examples of genre fiction. He then proceeded to whine, whine, whine until Richard threw his hands up in the air and said, “Right. Whatever. Have most of the land. Now can I marry her already?”

Then in 1477, poor Isabel died after childbirth. As everyone knew back then, childbirth could be dangerous fucking business. Everyone, that is, except George. He got it into his head that Ankarette Twynyho, Isabel’s lady-in-waiting, POISONED her mistress for Reasons. And a fair trial? To hell with that shit. He got a posse to snatch her from her home on a Saturday, stole all her valuables on a Monday, forced a conviction on a Tuesday, then hanged her three hours later.

Oh yeah, and George was out courting again right away, inconsolable widower that he was.

When King Edward heard about all this from Twynyho’s grandson, he was pissed and granted her a posthumous pardon. Not much more he could do by that point… as he’d already executed the brat!

How did that come about, you may ask? It’s a little murky, but the general thrust of events went like this: George never really stopped whining about HE should be king, actually, and some of his retainers got caught out plotting accordingly. George, instead of backing off from whatever he was cooking, sent an ex-Lancastrian to yell at Parliament about how innocent those retainers were. George was arrested, prosecuted, and convicted of treason. Then he was executed by being drowned in a butt of Malmsey. (Not fun, but better than most of the other options, I’d guess.)

Edward then probably sighed in relief over how that gigantic pain in his ass was gone.

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One thought on “George, Duke of Clarence Haiku

  1. Greetings,

    As a seventeenth great-grandson of George, Duke of Clarence, on his 641st death day, I’m deeply offended to read your characterization of him, R.I.P. JK, though he is my sixteenth–GGF. Your haiku is a hoot–I really enjoyed it. I’ve only recently learned what dubious character George exhibited–he pretty much sucked, though his daughter Margaret, Countess of Salisbury, is one kick-ass woman. I’ll sift through your work to see if you’ve portrayed her–she’s a Blessed in the Roman Catholic Church–and who can’t like a woman who goes down like a chicken in a courtyard of of the Tower of London, refusing to put her head on the block for Cousin Henry (who wants her dead due to her Catholicism and dynastic threat to his upstart line, not to mention her surely dismal view of his murderous tendencies), so that she was hacked to pieces by the executioner. My mother, who has no interest in her royal lineage–probably because she has the good sense to think so many of them are utter fools (though I don’t)–is a dead-ringer for this Margaret. I look forward to reading more from your blog.

    With Best Wishes,



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