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Archaeologists are DNA testing some bones they've found to see if they might be the remains of Richard III. Are there any other members of the Royal Family....

(747 Posts)
seeker Wed 12-Sep-12 13:19:56

where DNA testing might produce interesting results?

Themumsnot Wed 12-Sep-12 19:31:22

It was widespread at the time, though, as evidenced in several contemporary documents. And he had a very powerful motive for killing them, because as long as they were alive they would inevitably have been the focus of attempts to remove him from power.

Saltire Wed 12-Sep-12 19:37:51

Was Margaret Beufort's son Henry, Henry the 7th. Was he the father of Henry the 8th and grandfather of Elizabeth the first ? and they were Tudors, not Plantagenets?

and Richard the 3rd was the brother of Elizabeth's Woodvilles husband (who's name I forget, was it Edward)


Yohoahoy Wed 12-Sep-12 19:41:21

I don't know that there are many documents contemporary to him that do suggest that though. Once Henry Tudor came to the throne he was very swift to discredit Richard, and any support from him was stamped out. There is some record from York where themayor/guildsmen (can't remember exactly) expressed their sadness at his death.

There are very records surviving from that exact period. Many were later destroyed by the Tudors. If you discount the Tudor propaganda, there seems to be a reasonable mix of anti and pro-Richard sentiment, which is more what you'd expect.

Most of his evil reputation comes straight from Thomas More & Shakespeare. Certainly in the Midlands/North he was generally well thought of.

But back to the Princes. Quite possibly he would at some point have disposed of them. It was pretty common practice during the preceding centuries, so no reason to think he would have been any different.

It's just the timing doesn't sit well, plus Elizabeth Woodville's actions. Would any mother really give her daughters to the man she thought had killed her sons?

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Wed 12-Sep-12 19:55:00

ooh, this is brilliant - mumsletters know so much stuff. And I am so glad that in this time of austerity the council lets 'em dig up the car park rather than grimly refusing.

MeanAndMeaslyMiddleAges Wed 12-Sep-12 20:15:25

When are results likely to come through? Watching with great interest. I am another one who prefers Richard to Henry Tulip.

Now, oh wise mnetters, was there any truth in the rumours that 2 kids' skeletons were found under a staircase at the Tower very recently? Yes, I know I could Google it but I'm enjoying the discussion!

tiredemma Wed 12-Sep-12 20:17:56

This is so fascinating.

TheWoollybacksWife Wed 12-Sep-12 20:20:56

DD is about to start studying Archaeology and History at Leicester. She is thrilled about this. <Geek> grin

Yohoahoy Wed 12-Sep-12 20:28:32

2 bodies were found under a staircase in the Tower in the mid 1600's I think, and placed in Westminster Abbey. It was in the 1930s they were taken out and examined, with the ages possibly matching that of the Princes, but one might have been completely the wrong age.

There were also some other bones found near Edward IV's tomb I think. They've not done DNA testing on any of them though. I think Royal permission would be needed, but I don't know if permission has ever been sought and refused, or if no one's actually asked.

Will be interesting to see if interest is revived after the car park bones!

TunipTheVegemal Wed 12-Sep-12 20:34:01

Woollybackswife - it is a terrific department with a lot of very good (and nice) people in it. She's made a good choice. I hope she has a fantastic time.

TheWoollybacksWife Wed 12-Sep-12 20:39:28

Thank you Tunip. She is very excited and we are thrilled for her. Having accompanied her for a visit (and stayed quietly in the background - thank you MN) I'm sure she has made a fantastic choice. smile

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Wed 12-Sep-12 20:43:04

Richard didnt need to murder his nephews. He had them safe in the tower, and had had them declared illegitimate. He was crowned king in their place. If he had them in his custody, he could have produced them at any time to discredit any pretenders. he could even have released them eventually if their claim was invalid.
Henry VII needed to marry their sister Elizabeth in order to strengthen his hold on the throne. If they were illegitimate, then so was she, thus invalidating her claims. If they were declared legitmate when alive, then the crown belonged to them. If they were dead, but legitimate, then so was Elizabeth, making her useful.
It makes far more sense for Henry to have killed them. And his ruthless mother was more than capable!

Themumsnot Wed 12-Sep-12 21:00:50

Saggy - he did need to kill them as they would have been the focus of attempts to depose him. You are quite right though that Henry Tudor had even more reason to dispose of them, but they disappeared from view almost two years before the Battle of Bosworth. The French ambassador to England, Mancini, reported to France before the end of 1483 that it was widely believed that Richard had killed them.

LaQueen Wed 12-Sep-12 21:33:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LaQueen Wed 12-Sep-12 21:42:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cory Wed 12-Sep-12 21:44:12

"Most of his evil reputation comes straight from Thomas More & Shakespeare. Certainly in the Midlands/North he was generally well thought of."

This is a view that is often trotted out without much actual evidence to support it. Professor Michael Hicks has written a book about his early career and the evidence he has amassed seems to suggest that greed was Richard's predominant characteristic long before he came within sight of the throne.

trixie123 Wed 12-Sep-12 21:44:22

There's also an argument that the dwindling of support for Richard that made Bosworth an even fight and not a rout for Henry Tudor was due to the belief that he murdered his nephews (though this may be accrediting too much sentimentality to the noblemen of the period who were a pretty hard headed bunch). Ultimately the sides were fairly evenly matched and it was only the Stanleys (one of whom was married to Henry's mother) who won the day for Henry, hanging back from battle until a crucial moment. Richard got within yards of Henry on the field but was overwhelmed. Also I think it is a red herring to protest Richard's innocence on the strength of the actions of Elizabeth Woodville. She was nothing if not a politician, she had numerous children and noble families were not Boden-catalogue material. The princes had had their own separate household from a very young age, they were not going to the medieval equivalent of soft play and waking her up at four in the morning. It served her and her daughters' continuing interest to come to terms with Richard after the death of Edward IV by coming out of sanctuary at Westminster. I don't think it implies her belief in his innocence.

LaQueen Wed 12-Sep-12 21:45:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Wed 12-Sep-12 21:48:31

He didnt need to kill them, just keep them locked up.
richard was his brother Edwards biggest supporter. I find it crazy that he would kill his brothers children, when he already had what he wanted.
And surely, if that was the case, wouldnt their sisters have been equally dangerous? Especially with their mother behind them?

LaQueen Wed 12-Sep-12 21:48:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LaQueen Wed 12-Sep-12 21:50:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TunipTheVegemal Wed 12-Sep-12 21:53:28

I don't think the sisters would have been seen as as dangerous as their brothers at that point - England had never had a proper queen regnant so they wouldn't be as obvious as heirs, surely?

LaQueen Wed 12-Sep-12 21:54:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Wed 12-Sep-12 21:55:59

Can see the MN version of the Battle of Bosworth brewing!......

LaQueen Wed 12-Sep-12 21:58:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Wed 12-Sep-12 22:00:40

No, there hadnt been a Queen Regnant, but there had been many women used as rallying points. Many powerful women, who caused lots of trouble, and the daughters of Edward IV had their mother behind them.
She had made many enemies, and wouldnt have left sanctuary unless her family was safe.

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