Richard III Research and Discussion Archive

Astrological Chart - Henry Stafford

Buckingham was born on September 4 1455 (Sept 13 Gregorian), making him a Virgo, a sign known for meticulousness and attention to detail, so it would be surprising if he didn't apply some of these qualities to the running of his estates. He may even have been too exacting, which caused the Brecon tenants' dislike of him. A Sun-Saturn aspect also gave him the capacity for hard work and endurance, but also an element of rigidity. Nevertheless, the Sun is at a right angle to Jupiter and the Moon, which would have aggrandized his ambitions as well as his emotional reactions, causing an internal conflict between his aspirations and how to achieve them. In this case, there was a clash between practical and sometimes pedantic Virgo sun (personality) with the cerebral and adaptable Gemini Moon (emotion). Regardless of his birth time, the moon conjoins Jupiter, which would have encouraged generosity and joie de vivre, but also a tendency towards restlessness and doing things to excess. People with Moon-Jupiter contacts generally have positive relationships with women, and regardless of his feelings about the Woodvilles, it is unlikely that he was personally unkind to his wife, even if he was difficult to live with (see below). Both Virgo and Gemini are Mercury ruled signs, so the essence of his personality could be best described as Mercurial.

Mercury, the planet of communication and ruler of the Sun and Moon was in Libra, so the qualities of this sign were very prominent in his chart. Libra is an air sign associated with an intellectual orientation, a need for balance and fairness, cultural appreciation and sociability. The shadow side of Libra is when its Venusian qualities cross the line into hedonism - something that may have been the case for Buckingham, where Mercury was joined by Venus (love/beauty), Mars (energy/sex) and Neptune (dreams/delusions). Libra is a cardinal sign, and its dominance in the chart shows Buckingham's desire for some form of leadership. This configuration strongly suggests some artistic or musical talent, but it would not have had an outlet for expression, given his social position in 15th century England. This is not the chart of a medieval warrior, and not fulfilling the expected characteristics of a medieval nobleman may have led to being overlooked, insecurity and low self esteem. He may have felt more at home in the Byron/Shelley era. Libra planets are not overtly aggressive, but Mars in Libra is known for being argumentative, especially - as in Buckingham's case - when it is aligned with Mercury. In his case Pluto and Uranus are linked with Mercury, so his temper is likely to have been volcanic. Mars Librans often have high levels of conflict in personal relationships as a result of perceived notions of unfairness or not asserting themselves effectively. Another complication for Buckingham is his Mercury-Mars-Neptune link, which often related to problems with fantasy, dishonesty, deluded ideas and escapism.

I don't have a birth time for Buckingham, so his ascendant, which would describe the way he saw the world and how he presented himself to it is speculative, and that is also made difficult by a lack of known dates and events that were significant to him. However, based on his chart around the time from April-November 1483, I would guess at a birth time of around 7:00 am, giving him Libra rising, with Neptune close to ascendant with the other Libra planets following. This emphasizes all the Libra qualities described above. If this is correct the Sun, representing his ego is in the 12th house of secrets, sorrow, confinement and self undoing. His ego, and the potential competence of his Virgo Sun may have been smothered by all Libra in is chart, but it was what brought him down in the end.

Buckingham's element balance was overwhelmingly dominated by air, with 5 planets in either Gemini or Libra. The airy ideas associated with these planets would have overwhelmed the organizational advantage of his Virgo Sun. Fire and Water are weakly represented in the chart, so he would have struggled to translate his ideas into action and lacked empathy and emotional understanding - the latter a factor associated with a sociopathic personality.

Progressions and solar arcs signify internal issues that impel events when they are set of by transits of planets to natal ones, and Buckingham's 1483 chart shows an underlying frustration that had been brewing for some times and how it exploded into the discordant, deluded quest for power that was characteristic of the events of that year. In this case a harsh solar arc aspect from Mercury to his natal Uranus (sudden change) and Pluto (power) reveals an underlying dissatisfaction which his life, which was stimulated by transits from Neptune and Pluto to Buckingham's natal Mars, with Uranus at a disruptive right angle to his Sun. Another factor of interest is Buckingham's progressed moon - which plots where a person is emotionally and psychologically at a particular time. At the time of Stony Stratford, it is close to Jupiter, putting him in the frame of mind to seize the day for something grandiose.

Richard and Buckingham
When you cross reference the charts of Richard and Buckingham, you can see the compatibility that marked the early stages of their relationship, and it is a shame they couldn't capitalize on it. Richard's Sun was conjunct Buckingham's Mercury, which gave them an easy intellectual rapport - an excellent position for friendship or someone who is trying to sell an idea. Richard's generosity and goodwill toward Buckingham can be seen in the harmonious aspect from his Jupiter to Buckingham's Venus. However, there is a problem with Richard's Mars in Aries being in opposition to these Libra planets. While Buckingham and Richard would have found a meeting of minds over some ideas, Richard was very action orientated and would have become annoyed by Buckingham's tendency to 'live in his head.' This may have been a flashpoint that led to Buckingham's disappointment with the positions Richard gave him. Richard's chart indicates that he was quite direct and may have said something about Buckingham's ability that wasn't to his taste. Buckingham's distress may have been compounded by the fact that his progressed Sun is exactly conjunct Richards natal Sun; in terms of psychological development that can be interpreted as wanting to be like Richard or seeing him as a role model. Being rejected is hard at the best of times, but realizing that a person that you aspire to be like doesn't rate you is doubly hard. Most people get over it, but a fragile character with sociopathic tendencies would take the rejection personally and lash out.

Overall, Buckingham's chart may have given him more opportunities to shine in today's world, that wasn't the case at the time he lived. He must have been a rather big personality with considerable charm, but if Richard's life had been about service, Buckingham's inclination would have been to lead the life of a Lord of Leisure to the fullest. However,
in any century you, a difficult, egotistical and fractious personality doesn't do anyone any favours. As for the question of being a narcissistic sociopath, his horoscope certainly indicates that may well be the case