Here's what author Annette Carson thinks -
"First let me run through the factual circumstances of the incident itself. We’ve had far too much smoke and mirrors already. Forget Tudor stories of witchcraft and withered arms; forget the small-talk of strawberries suddenly transmogrified into murderous fury; forget convenient self-incrimination provided by go-betweens. Colourful as these devices are, any creative writer will recognize them as classic misdirection. They’re calculated to distract from the pretence at the heart of the Tudor fabrication: that a Protector of the Realm, a mere five weeks into his appointment, could get away with unprovoked daylight murder of a peer in the middle of London, in front of witnesses, and still retain the complete confidence of the King’s Council and the Three Estates of Parliament who then collectively elected him King of England."
I've never got my head around the events of this council meeting or William Hasting's eventually fate. As a Ricardian, I would like to think that Richard had no hand in Hastings death, but we cannot place him on a pedestal and think that he was beyond reproach, that does more harm than good. What we should look at is the situation from Richard's point of view and consider what was going on at this point in time. We should also bear in mind that this was a time when those who lived by the sword, died by the sword.
Sadly, I'm afraid to say that, in my case, the jury is still out on this.
History uses this event to vilify Richard, as do those in the art world, and no better example of this is the above painting by Victorian artist Sir John Gilbert.
You can read a little more about Gilbert's painting in my blog on my website.