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

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Post by Miss Moppet » Mon September 7th, 2009, 8:26 pm

I am another Lancastrian but with no strong feelings either way. If I were forced to stake money on it I'd stake on Richard's team having done it. I did read Daughter of Time and found it a fun enjoyable read but also dated, unhistorical and not very well argued. I may yet be convinced of Richard's innocence, but Josephine Tey is not the woman to convince me.

She does make the point that while Richard has been vilified for two murders he possibly didn't commit no-one seems to remember that Henry VIII ordered numerous executions for dynastic reasons, including the elderly Margaret Countess of Salisbury, surely a low security risk.

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Post by robinbird79 » Wed September 9th, 2009, 1:49 am

Without going into a long explanation of why, I lean more toward Henry VII or his mother, Margaret Beaufort. Henry had more to gain from their deaths and his mother would have done anything for him.

Could Richard have done it or ordered it? Sure. But I don't think he did.

Someone mentioned it in an earlier post but the general perception of R3 comes from Shakespeare's play and he certainly wasn't going to write a play that made his monarch's grandfather look like a usurping murderer. :)
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Post by princess » Thu January 21st, 2010, 11:39 pm

[quote=""Libby""]Well you know that I'm a Lancastrian born and bred as well, EC and I used to believe the story that Richard was a wicked uncle and a tyrant king. But then I began to research the Wars of the Roses and like St Paul on the road to Damascus I had a complete and utter change of opinion. I've read authors who are for and against him and weighed up the opinions and the evidence. I've visited Middleham and York and talked to people about him and I think that a man who was, and still is, held in such high esteem by people who knew him well and dealt with him on a regular basis cannot possibly deserve the reputation that popular history has given him, partly because of what seems to have been a protracted smear campaign and the popularity of Shakespeare's fictional version of events.

You won't find anyone in Yorkshire who has a bad thing to say about him - and there are a good number of Lancastrians (those with historical knowledge of the period) who will also acknowledge that he was a good and fair man who doesn't deserve to be remembered as a villain. He ruled as a lord of the north in that area for many years and I believe that collective memory of him as a good and decent and clean living man is not something that can easily be dismissed. I believe that collective memory and what is passed down from generation to generation probably has more truth than some of what has survived in writing - given that the survival of what is written may be more selective. And when you consider that most of the influential men of York defied Henry VII to sign their names to a document that deplored the murder of Richard, possibly knowing that they were putting their lives on the line, then you have to acknowledge that support for Richard from people who knew him was very, very strong.

The people who plotted against him seem to have done so for their own gain, and rumours about him only spread in the south of the country and abroad where people didn't know him. The Stanleys have a lot to answer for. They were a big factor in Richard's downfall. As a Lancastrian I ought to be supporting them, but I'm not. My family originally come from Yorkshire anyway so I've been told. :D [/quote]

This is an excellent post and I agree with most of it. I think Margaret Beaufort had something to do with it - she would have had access (even indirectly) to the Princes through her husband, Stanley. Henry Tudor's claim to the English throne was rather weak, so the "disappearance" of the Princes was very convenient for him - he shouldn't be ruled out. From what we know of Richard, I just can't imagine him having anything to do with it - he wasn't in the same league as King John in my opinion.

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Post by burlgirl » Mon January 25th, 2010, 5:49 pm

[quote=""boswellbaxter""]Here, perhaps?

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

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.[/quote]

I know that I don't have a great expertise in this area, but as I'm reading "To Hold the Crown" presently, and have read other things in the past, I'm willing to put in my 2 cents.

If we could DNA to prove those 2 boys are the missing princes, and then if we could do age analysis on them, similar to what they've done with Tut and the body from KV 55, we would know how old they were when they died and if they are the right boys. If the age matches up with the reign of Richard, he did it. If they are to old, then Henry did it. It would get murky if the age showed up +/- 2 or 3 years, which is likely, and then we'd be back to where we are now.

I lean toward Richard because of the time of their disappearance. But, I really, really don't want it to have been him. From what I've read of him, it seems like the pre-king Richard is so different from the King Richard, that it feels like we are talking about 2 different guys. That doesn't add up.

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Post by Sharz » Tue January 26th, 2010, 9:26 pm

Sorry, double post, see below
Last edited by Sharz on Mon February 1st, 2010, 4:54 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Post by Sharz » Tue January 26th, 2010, 9:33 pm

I just finished The Founding, by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles. It takes place during the York years, and touches very lightly on the Princes in the Tower. It got me thinking about this again, and when the thread popped up, I decided to give my 2c.

I can’t point to any single one of them as the most likely to have killed them. But as I assess the potential for various points of time, candidates, motives, and differing degrees of opportunity, as well as varying levels of culpability, only one of them exceeds 50% chance of responsibility in some capacity: Henry.

For example, let’s say that Margaret Beaufort recruited various conspirators, including Buckingham (for his access) on Henry’s behalf. In that case, all three of them “did it”. Margaret as the instigator and driving force, Buckingham as a co-conspirator (who may well have decided join it to suit his own interests, not theirs) and the buck would stop with Henry, regardless of whether he was even aware of it beforehand. Frankly, even if Margaret did it on her own, without a word to or from Henry, I would assign her full share of culpability to Henry, because there’s no question that such a thing was on his behalf and would have had his enthusiastic support and participation as the situation allowed.

Overall, I think the person least likely to be responsible is Richard because he had the most to lose and the least to gain. I think the person most likely to be directly involved in some capacity was Buckingham, when you combine the odds that he acted on his own behalf and interests (buck stopped with him), and some odds that he was involved in a broader conspiracy with the Tudors. Finally, I think it maybe 25% chance at best that they survived Richard’s reign and Henry ordered it, but when you combine that chance with the one that it was the result of conspiracy on his behalf, for which I would hold him fully responsible, I think you just exceed 50% that Henry was responsible in some way. Something like:

25% chance Henry ordered it

75% chance they were killed during Richard’s reign, made up of
----20% chance Richard did it
----27% chance Buckingham did it (“alone&#8221 ;)
----28% chance Margaret drove a conspiracy, of which 50/50 (14% of overall) that Buckingham was involved; full 28% also attributed to Henry.

So I’ll assess the overall odds of responsibility in some capacity as:
Richard: 20%
Buckingham: 41% (22% alone + 11.5% conspiracy)
Margaret Beaufort: 28%
Henry: 53% (25% during his reign + 28% conspiracy beforehand)
Last edited by Sharz on Mon February 1st, 2010, 4:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by sweetpotatoboy » Tue January 26th, 2010, 10:07 pm

[quote=""Sharz""]I just finished The Founding, by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles.

How funny. I just got home after our latest book group meeting, which was on this very book! I think there were 12 or 13 of us all discussing The Founding and very lively it was!

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Post by Libby » Tue January 26th, 2010, 10:56 pm

I think you may be right when you point the finger at Buckingham, Sharz.

All the accusations that are thrown at RIII stem from the time that Buckingham became his 'friend' and abruptly stop after Buckingham's execution - and as well as the disappearance of the princes I would add the execution of William Hastings.

I think Buckingham was a bad lot - no-one had trusted him enough to give him any responsibility before and he didn't waste time ingratiating himself with Richard. Shakespeare credits Richard with an agenda but if there was anyone with a game plan to claim the throne for themselves I think it was Buckingham.
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Post by boswellbaxter » Wed January 27th, 2010, 12:30 am

[quote=""Libby""]I think you may be right when you point the finger at Buckingham, Sharz.

All the accusations that are thrown at RIII stem from the time that Buckingham became his 'friend' and abruptly stop after Buckingham's execution - and as well as the disappearance of the princes I would add the execution of William Hastings.


What about the accusation that Richard poisoned Anne? I don't believe that he did poison her, but Buckingham can hardly be associated with that accusation, having died long before Anne did.

And how can Hastings' execution be blamed on Buckingham without implicating Richard? Buckingham might have urged it, but Richard as protector certainly could have prevented it if he'd wanted to do so. I have a hard time picturing Richard as passively standing by and saying, "Sure, Harry, do what you like with Hastings, I'll just sit and have another strawberry." Richard was older than Buckingham and far more experienced, both militarily and administratively, and I have a very hard time picturing him as Buckingham's tool.
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Post by stumpy » Fri January 29th, 2010, 10:13 pm

Have you read Bosworth 1485 by Michael Jones.He points out that in august after the princes had disappeared from public Richard endowed York Minster with plans for an enormous chantry chapel to have 100 priests praying continuously for him. That speaks of a burden of guilt.

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