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Who do you think did in the princes in the tower?

A place to debate issues or to rant about what's on your mind. In addition to discussions about historical fiction, books, the publishing industry, and history, discussions about current political, social, and religious issues and other topics are allowed, so those who are easily offended by certain topics may want to avoid such threads. Members are expected to keep the discussions friendly and polite and to avoid personal attacks on other members. The moderators reserve the right to shut down a thread without warning if they believe it necessary.
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boswellbaxter
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Post by boswellbaxter » Sat November 22nd, 2008, 12:41 am

[quote=""diamondlil""]I can't remember where I read it, but just this week I saw a mention about other people that disappeared over the years from the Tower of London. The point the person was making was that there were more than two people who this happened to. I will try to backtrack and work out where I would have seen it.[/quote]

Here, perhaps?

http://yorkistage.blogspot.com/2008/11/ ... orial.html

I've read somewhere that some bones were found buried under a stairwell or someplace in the Tower, and they were long believed to have been the two princes' bones, but modern analysis shows the bones came from children the wrong age to be those of the two princes. That begs the question, of course - Whose were they?

It's not so much that modern analysis has proven that the bones were of the wrong age, but that the validity of the analysis done years ago (back in the 1930's, if I recall correctly) has been called into question. At this point no one can say whether the bones belonged to the Princes or to someone else, and permission for DNA testing has not been forthcoming. Of course, even if the bones are eventually proven to belong to the Princes, it wouldn't prove that Richard was the murderer, although it would pretty much dispose of the theory that Perkin Warbeck was Richard, Duke of York.
Susan Higginbotham
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annis
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Post by annis » Sat November 22nd, 2008, 12:42 am

I've always thought Henry had the most to gain, but the idea of his mother is also a very feasible one--

I enjoyed Dr Gillian Polack's piece about the Princes in the Tower at Vulpes Libris during Richard III Week and the debate which followed it:
http://vulpeslibris.wordpress.com/2008/ ... an-polack/
Last edited by annis on Sat November 22nd, 2008, 1:51 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Wed January 14th, 2009, 7:26 pm

Just found this from the Richard III Society's website whilst googling.

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Libby
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Post by Libby » Wed January 14th, 2009, 8:09 pm

Ah! This is one of my favourite arguments. But of course it's very difficult to accuse anyone of a murder without producing the bodies. What proof is there that the princes were murdered by anyone?

The bones in the urn in Westminster Abbey are mostly animal bones.

If the princes were killed in the Tower - or drugged and removed and killed elsewhere - the question arises of who had access to them. They would be very closely guarded, and the only visitors who would have been allowed access without permission were priests or bishops or other members of the church, who were powerful men and may have had their own reasons to ensure that there was no uprising in support of the princes.
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LoveHistory
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Post by LoveHistory » Thu January 15th, 2009, 12:40 am

I have a unique position on this, having not read any of the books, and having been unable to ever sit through Olivier as Richard III (Ian McKellan was riveting though).

I don't think Richard did it, because it's just too easy an answer. Nothing involving royalty is that simple.

I offer another theory, based on no research and my own propensity to be fanciful (I fully expect this theory to be thrown out in a hurry): they didn't die in the tower; they were spirited away to a foreign land where they lived out their days in comfort and obscurity. Somebody, please write this book!

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EC2
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Post by EC2 » Thu January 15th, 2009, 12:44 am

[quote=""LoveHistory""]
I offer another theory, based on no research and my own propensity to be fanciful (I fully expect this theory to be thrown out in a hurry): they didn't die in the tower; they were spirited away to a foreign land where they lived out their days in comfort and obscurity. Somebody, please write this book![/quote]

Ah, that would be the desert Island theory. The Princes are safe there along with Elvis Presley, Robert Maxwell, Marilyn Monroe, the crew of the Flying Dutchmen and my odd socks! LOL!!! :D
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Thu January 15th, 2009, 12:52 am

Aah, what a mystery and what a story if it's ever solved. Fascinating stuff, I've always loved a good mystery.

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princess garnet
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Post by princess garnet » Thu January 15th, 2009, 7:50 pm

All I'm going to say is this: the two Princes disappeared while under royal custody and Richard III said and did nothing about it.

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Libby
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Post by Libby » Thu January 15th, 2009, 8:02 pm

[quote=""princess garnet""]All I'm going to say is this: the two Princes disappeared while under royal custody and Richard III said and did nothing about it.[/quote]

But did people question it at the time? From what I've read there were a few rumours circulating but no outcry about where the boys were. It was recorded that they were seen less and less until they weren't seen at all. From that there was a presumption that they were dead or had been killed. It may be true, but it may not.

The fascinating thing about this debate is that everyone has an opinion, but no-one has any facts. The simple truth is that we will (probably) never know, but I will not believe that Richard knowingly ordered them to be killed.
By Loyalty Bound - the story of the mistress of Richard III.

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boswellbaxter
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Post by boswellbaxter » Thu January 15th, 2009, 8:33 pm

[quote=""Libby""]But did people question it at the time? From what I've read there were a few rumours circulating but no outcry about where the boys were. It was recorded that they were seen less and less until they weren't seen at all. From that there was a presumption that they were dead or had been killed. It may be true, but it may not.

[/quote]

There was an attempt to free the boys from the Tower within weeks of Richard's coronation--four men were hung for their involvement.

Dominic Mancini, an Italian observer with no ax to grind on behalf of the Tudors, wrote in 1483 that he saw men crying in the street at the mention of Edward V. Clearly, they wouldn't have been crying if they thought the boys were frolicking up in Yorkshire somewhere.

The autumn 1483 uprising known as "Buckingham's rebellion" (a misnomer, because Buckingham was involved rather late in the game) is generally held to have begun as an attempt to restore Edward V to the throne and later, when it was rumored that the boys were dead, to put someone else on the throne (either Henry Tudor or, some think, Buckingham himself). Most of the men involved in the rebellion were men who had been loyal to Edward IV and to the Yorkist cause. They risked their lives, their property, and the futures of their loved ones by rebelling--it would have been a lot safer and easier for them to try to ingratiate themselves with Richard III. That they didn't, but chose instead to gamble on an unknown quantity like Henry Tudor, surely suggests that they believed Richard III had committed crimes so serious that they could not stomach him as their king.

Well before Henry Tudor's invasion in 1485, there were rumors circulating abroad that Richard III had killed his nephews.

None of this proves that the boys were murdered or that Richard III was their killer, of course, but it does indicate that their disappearance was questioned at the time, and deplored.

Rosemary Horrox's Richard III: A Study in Service and Louise Gill's Richard III and Buckingham's Rebellion are excellent accounts of the period after Richard's coronation and of the unrest during this time.
Susan Higginbotham
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