This Day in History: 1484-07-18

On 18th July 1484, after Richard III, lord of Sandal, had issued orders two months before to put the country on high alert because of murmurs of impending invasion by Henry Tudor, seditious rhymes were posted in prominent locations around London. One memorable and treasonous couplet pinned to the doors of St Paul’s ran: ‘The Cat, the Rat, and Lovell our Dog, Rule all England under a hog.’ The implications were clear: The Cat was Richard’s counsellor, William Catesby; the Rat being Sir Richard Ratcliffe, an influential figure in the northeast; Francis Lovell, Richard’s childhood friend and chamberlain; the hog, a scathing reference to Richard’s white boar emblem.