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The princes in the tower , who do we think caused their disappearance ?

(62 Posts)
autumnsmum Fri 11-Jul-14 11:41:58

Hi I have been reading a couple of books recently on the late Middle Ages and I wondered what the view was on here about the princes in the tower ? Was Richard the third responsible ? I read a book recently that claimed it was Henry Tudor

MadamNoo Fri 11-Jul-14 11:57:35

oooh, totally gripped by Josephine Tey, A Daughter of Time, at the moment - a mystery novel but investigating just that question. Haven't finished yet but at the moment it is feeling less and less likely that he was really to blame. Evidence so far: Thomas More's 'contemporary' account on which most of our beliefs are based was of course written under Tudors and More was in fact 5 years old at the time of the events; Richard was not charged with this crime when Henry challenged him (with 'tyranny and cruelty' but no mention of murders); and Tyrrell was not tried for the murders until ?20 years later. Sorry I accept a mystery novel is not neccessarily best source!

autumnsmum Fri 11-Jul-14 12:08:23

Nothing wrong with a mystery novel! I read a book on my kindle called cold case reopened .it is certainly true about the Tudor bias

Muskey Fri 11-Jul-14 12:09:15

A daughter of time is a fantastic book. However I have just finished reading Alison Weir's book on Eilzabeth of York who as you know was the princes sister who also happened to be married to Henry Tudor. All things considered it really was Richard 111 who had them murdered. Being a bit of a Richard 111 apologist I believe he had the boys murdered as it was in the best interests of stability for England. Had he survived Bosworth the issue do the disappearance probably would have come back to bite him. Instead Henry Tudor was constantly struggling with claims to his throne such as Lambert Simnel, Perkin Warbeck and actual surviving members of the Plantageants. Had the boys bodies been discovered Henry would I am sure make use of this to not only further disgrace Richards memory and underline his own claims to the throne but would also put a stop to people turning up claiming to be either of the princes.

LindaMcCartneySausage Fri 11-Jul-14 12:16:04

Richard III had the princes in the tower mirdered. I've also read the Alison Weir book and the evidence is compelling. No one else fits the bill.

As for Tudor bias, I get that. But then Ricardians cited Tudor bias as one reason why Richard III came down through history described as having a hump back. Until they found Richard's body and osteo-archaeologists confirmed that he did indeed have a hump, the apologists put that down to Tudor propaganda too and maintained there was no contemporary evidence he stood anything other than ramrod straight.

ThrowAChickenInTheAir Fri 11-Jul-14 12:18:46

Just coming to the end on the Sunne in Splendour who says it was the Duke of Buckingham done to discredit Richard and open up possible chance for duke to become king.

Nerf Fri 11-Jul-14 12:21:26

Wait ! The princes had a sister? Married to the enemy?
Explain in simple terms who is who again and when they disappeared. I'm off to water stones in a minute grin

MooncupGoddess Fri 11-Jul-14 12:22:40

Alison Weir is not a serious historian... her book about the princes in the tower is based almost entirely on More's account and shows no understanding of Renaissance historiography (ie that More's primary aims were rhetorical and moralistic, not to mention appealing to the Tudor regime, rather than evidence-based history).

Of course that doesn't mean that Richard didn't do it. He may well have. But the Duke of Buckingham is also a serious suspect - he had access to the Tower and he could well have done it as part of his rebellion in autumn 1583, to discredit Richard and ease his own access to the throne.

There are arguments that the princes survived Richard's reign but I've always found them pretty tenuous. It's possible I suppose that they lived quietly in the Tower until 1485 and Henry VII did them in to remove the competition (the Josephine Tey theory IIRC), but I think there would be more traces of their lives in 1484 and 1485 if that was the case. If they were still alive post-1483 surely Richard would have shown them off to dispel the rumours he'd killed them.

Audrey Williamson's book The Mystery of the Princes is the best analysis that I'm aware of, but there may be more recent work - I'd be interested to hear if so!

autumnsmum Fri 11-Jul-14 12:29:43

Thank you mooncup I will look the Audrey Williamson book up. I have to say I find Richard fascinating

Muskey Fri 11-Jul-14 12:34:14

Yes Nerf Elizabeth of Yorks father was Edward 1v who was also the father of the princes in the tower. It may have been that marrying Elizabeth was a further way of securing Henry Tudors throne. Although from what I have read it sounds as though they did actually love each other. I too am off to buy the mystery of the princes as recommended by Mooncupgoddess

Nerf Fri 11-Jul-14 12:41:56

Yes I'm going there now grin

Wickeddevil Fri 11-Jul-14 16:51:09

Argh just typed a longish post and lost it. I am fascinated by tis, and am just coming towards the end of the white queen by Phillipa Gregory.
If I'm honest I do think R3 is the most likely culprit, accepting the Tudor propaganda yes, but he would have wanted to found his own dynasty and didn't plan to die at Bosworth.
Having said that the women make for better story villains; Anne Neville to reclaim the power wealth and prestige of her late father, and better still Margaret Beaufort to put her own son on the throne. Tudor historians certainly wouldn't have painted her in a bad light.
Can I just say I didn't know there was a history club, if it's ok I'd like to hang out here more often

ThrowAChickenInTheAir Sat 12-Jul-14 21:03:53

I would def recommend the Sunne in Splendour for those interested in RIII. It's a huge book though. It's taken me a ages to read it.

BillnTedsMostFeministAdventure Mon 14-Jul-14 22:25:50

Sunne in splendour is a kindle monthly deal and is only £1.89

ancientbuchanan Mon 14-Jul-14 22:35:45

Rlll probable. But Henry Vll would have done if he hadn't, make no mistake. He got rid of every other
Plantagenet he possibly could by one means it another.

He also restored the kingdom to prosperity, for his son to squander.

Wickeddevil Tue 15-Jul-14 09:19:21

That's true ancient. Both Richard and Henry Tudor had previous. I still like the idea of their wives and mothers plotting grin but I don't suppose either man would have thought twice about getting rid of the opposition.

BillnTedsMostFeministAdventure Tue 15-Jul-14 10:15:40

Given that Edward IV had his brother (George) executed for treason, it's same old same old either way!

"Although from what I have read it sounds as though they did actually love each other. "

Curious as to what you've read on this?

Nerf Tue 15-Jul-14 21:14:37

I'm confused . The princes and their sister were offspring of The King who died and left them in the tlc of uncle Richard? How did the dsis marry Henry Tudor and who was King after The King?

ravenAK Tue 15-Jul-14 21:16:33

I'd like to think it was Margaret Beaufort, but I think probably Tricky Dicky is the most likely.

Tiredemma Tue 15-Jul-14 21:17:41

Margaret Beaufort ( I think)

thecageisfull Tue 15-Jul-14 21:22:14

My money's on Margaret B

BillnTedsMostFeministAdventure Tue 15-Jul-14 21:26:14


, Edward, Richard and Elizabeth (plus various other girls) were children of Edward IV.

When Edward IV died, the elder boy was briefly King with Richard, Duke of York as Regent. Before his coronation, Richard, Duke of York assumed the throne as Richard III as the children were declared illegitimate.

Richard III was killed in battle with Henry Tudor, who became Henry VII and married Elizabeth.

Nerf Tue 15-Jul-14 21:32:01

Thank you, getting there. So, Richard 111 decided they were illegitimate and took the throne while they were alive? And locked them up? When did Elizabeth marry Henry?

Muskey Tue 15-Jul-14 21:35:12

Thanks for the kindle tip billnted

As far as the Henry Tudor and Elizabeth of York romance thing Alison Weir does allude to it as does Geoffry Elton (standard sixth form text in the 80s)....and yes I do know she is not a proper historian but I do find her work accessible

ExcuseTypos Tue 15-Jul-14 21:43:44

I recently went on a tour of the Tower Of London. The Beefeater guiding us round said that the "powers that be" had always refused to have bones found in the tower, DNA tested. I thought that was very odd. What are they trying to hide, I wonder?

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