Monday, 27 March 2017

Fake news in the 15th century

Donald Trump’s problems with ‘fake news’ aren’t new. In February 1472, Edward IV of England issued a statement that “many vagabonds, and ungodly and ill-disposed persons … run through the same our land sowing seeds of discord and division in making and telling of tidings, false lying and tales.”

The solution was that “you will in all haste certify us theoreof” (i.e., turn them in). Edward had regained the throne from Henry VI in the previous year, a period of “great tempests, divisions and troubles” in the first round of the Wars of the Roses. [Source: The Coventry Leet Book, p.373]

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