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The Princes in the Tower
April 22, 2012
11:20 pm
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Neil Kemp
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Janet, if you want a fairly light read then try Elizabeth Norton’s biography, “Margaret Beaufort: Mother Of The Tudor Dynasty”. It lacks depth but is very readable. For something more heavyweight try “The King’s Mother: Lady Margaret Beaufort….” by Michael Jones and Malcolm Underwood. This biography is packed with detail and factual sources although you may find it somewhat heavier going because of this. Perhaps read them both and then you will not have to make a choice based on my dubious preference!

April 24, 2012
1:25 am
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Janet
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Thank you Neil. Two more books added to my ever-growing list and added them over at Goodreads so I don’t forget them.Smile

April 24, 2012
1:37 am
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Anyanka
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Tell me about it, Janet…

Rocky Horror intrerlude later..

I have about 100 books on my Amazon wishlist…I might have to sell the kids to fund them.

It's always bunnies.

April 24, 2012
11:33 am
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Boleyn
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David said

My question is:

Was Perkin Warbeck really Prince Richard, who would have been Richard IV of England….was King Henry VII the person who killed Perkin Warbeck because she knew he was who he said he was?  If this is true, then did she have a child killed and placed in the burial site at the twoer with Edward V in order to make it look like both were buried there?  And finally, did the wife and child of Perkin Warbeck move to England and live with the royal family?  I would appreciate any and all comments regarding this subject…..

Hmm good question David.. There were a few who did believe that he was, and certain Margaret of Burgandy, believed Perkin was Richard.
Although I do rather have a few problems with Margaret’s exceptence of Perkin, cheifly because she wasn’t in England or had never seen Richard or Edward, as babies. She was married in 1468 and went to Burgandy, Edward was born in 1470, and Richard in 1473. Perkin was born in 1474.
I rather think that Margaret just wanted to stir up trouble in England, and perhaps get revenge on Henry V1 for killing her brother Richard 3rd.
Perkin’s wife was the bastard daughter of James 1V of Scotland, Lady Catherine Gordon, and yes she did come to England with him and in fact became a favourite Lady in Waiting to Elizabeth of York. Lady Catherine married 4 times but there was no issue from any marriage.
In 1503, Catherine was an honoured guest at the wedding of Margaret Tudor to King James IV.
After the accession of King Henry VIII in 1509, Catherine received several land grants in Berkshire
She died in October 1537, sometime after 12 October, as that was the date of her last will, and was buried beneath a floor standing wall monument with brass figures (now lost) in Fyfield Church. However, she also had an effigial chest monument in St Mary’s Church in Swansea which no longer exists.

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

July 5, 2012
1:09 pm
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Vermillion
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Having just stumbled across this debate, I’m quite taken aback by some of the rather leftfield theories being advanced here. Suffice to say that, short of some miraculous discovery of new evidence, there cannot be any certainty in how the deaths of Edward V and his brother came about. But I would say that on the balance of probabilities, the likely culprit can be identified.

The list of suspects can be narrowed down depending on when exactly it seems that the Princes died or were killed. If they died in 1483, that rules out Henry Tudor – and the argument that Margaret Beaufort could have done it on her own initative or on Henry’s behalf simply makes no sense. After Richard III’s accession, she was attainted as a traitor. True, she was treated fairly leniently and merely suffered the confiscation of her estates, but she was hardly in a position to be acting as a free agent. Moreover, as she clearly couldn’t have done it herself, how could she have orchestrated it, given her tenuous circumstances at the time? The Duke of Buckingham is a possibility – he was certainly powerful enough in the early days of Richard’s reign to have gained access to the Tower – but it’s difficult to work out what he would have gained from this personally unless it was done in collusion with Richard. The only plausible motive would have been if he assumed that Richard wanted the boys killed (which may or may not have been the case) and did so as an attempt to curry favour with him. Yet, if he did this, why did Richard not charge Buckingham with this when he rebelled, which would have been a useful way of blackening the enemy’s name?

If the Princes died in 1483, Richard III remains by far the most likely suspect. As king he would have had the ability and opportunity (they were in his custody) and he had motive. The idea that the designation of the Princes as bastards meant they were no longer a threat to Richard doesn’t stack up against the evidence. Richard’s accession was far from universally popular – look at the number of rebellions he faced in his short reign. It had split the Yorkists down the middle. Alive, the Princes were always going to be a rallying point for discontent (indeed, one abortive uprising in 1483 was in Edward V’s name). Of the three previous kings to be deposed, all three were murdered, two of them within a year of their deposition. Titulus Regius could easily have been repealed as the unjust act of a tyrant if the political circumstances changed (as indeed it was under Henry VII): it wasn’t something that became set in stone. Moreover, there’s no credible record of the continued existence of the Princes after late 1483. Surely the most obvious reason for this would be because they were dead, not because they were somehow spirited away (to where? why would this have been a more logical solution than to kill them?).

If they died after 1485, then that changes things completely. But as there’s no evidence whatsoever that they were still alive after Bosworth, this can’t really be taken seriously as a credible theory.

By the way, I thought Maggyann’s idea that Elizabeth Woodville had a hand in this bizarre to say the least. I know some don’t have much sympathy with her as a historical figure, although I think she’s unfairly treated for having to engage in some realpolitik when faced with several highly perilous situations. The Richard III Society in particular make considerable efforts to paint her in the worst light possible (they seem to be unaware of the irony of them trying to blacken the name of another historical figure in order to rehabilitate their hero). One pro-Richard book recently started with a supposition (for which no supporting evidence was cited) that Edward IV was murdered and that Elizabeth may have been responsible because she wanted more of a political role. But as far as I’m aware, even they have never accused her of having a hand in the murder of her sons! The Princes were hardly a ‘lost cause’, given the lack of unity in the Yorkist camp after Richard III’s accession – they’d only have become a lost cause once they were dead. The fact that Elizabeth would have negotiated with Margaret Beaufort seems far more likely to me to be evidence that she believed they were already dead, not that they were no longer worth backing.

August 9, 2013
4:34 pm
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Boleyn
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Ok So I have just watched a documentary on the Princes in the Tower. Well known historian Suzanna Lipscombe has uncovered a document which states that the Duke of Buckingham paid someone in the Tower a large sum of money to kill the Princes as they slept.
I have long suspected the Duke of Buckingham, as being responsible for their deaths anyway.
What are your thoughts on this?

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

August 9, 2013
11:55 pm
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Mariette
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Boleyn said

Ok So I have just watched a documentary on the Princes in the Tower. Well known historian Suzanna Lipscombe has uncovered a document which states that the Duke of Buckingham paid someone in the Tower a large sum of money to kill the Princes as they slept.

What was the documentary, Boleyn? I’d love to see it!

August 10, 2013
12:05 am
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Bella44
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That documentary sounds intriguing Boleyn, is it on Youtube at all?

I’m reading Sarah Gristwoods ‘Blood Sisters: The Hidden Lives of the Women Behind The Wars of the Roses’ and she speculates that it’s possible Edward V died of natural causes while in the Tower and that Richard Duke of York survived and may have gone to live with his mother when she left sanctuary. It’s interesting that of all the pretenders to crop up during Henry VII’s rule not one of them claimed to be the elder child. Gristwood relates a lot of the rumours floating around at the time about the Princes’ fate but the ones about one or both of them dying of natural causes are interesting (at least to me) as I’d never considered that possibility before.
Buckingham is a distinct possibility too, Gristwood speculates that he had the best of all reasons to know that a rebellion in the Princes’ names could safely be raised without Edward V being placed on the throne as Buckingham knew they were dead having probably done the deed himself. But then the list of who did away with the Princes’ is practically endless…

August 10, 2013
5:18 am
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Olga
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Oh excellent I will have to have a look for that, thanks Bo. Bella that sounds like Baldwin’s theory, I haven’t managed to get my hands on Blood Sister’s, it’s out of print already Confused

August 10, 2013
11:53 am
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Boleyn
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Bella it was also interesting that in the documentary I’ve mentioned (which I will try to post for you all) that in the records at the time that Edward V was visited by his doctor several times, during his time there. So you could be right in saying that Edward died of a tersian fever of some sorts.
But then it does open up what happened too young Richard. Did he go and live with his mother? If he did, then surely given how ambitiious his mother was for the Woodville clan she would do her upmost to see that young Richard as the heir now would have the throne after Richard 3rd? and yet we know that Richard 3rd named John de le Pole Earl of Lincoln as his heir. I wonder if part of the reason for Elizabeth Woodville’s exile (loosely worded) from court was to do with her trouble making. Maybe she did have Richard with her and enjoyed winding Henry up over it. Elizabeth his wife would of course know Richard, and perhaps E.W was trying to turn Queen Elizabeth against Henry etc. So much so in fact that Henry got fed up with her games carted the kid off somewhere (Rumours speak of him being a brick layer in Essex who could speak read and write Latin unusual for a low born child to do) and sent E.W from the court.

Actually in my opinion the next legal heir after Edward and Richard (the Princes) was George’s son Edward. So I wonder why Richard forgot about him. Perhaps Richard was once again thinking of the disaster there would be if a child was placed on the throne, and thought that the Earl of Lincoln, was the better man for the job?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..4J9UKicvzI
Here you go I hope this works. Enjoy.

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

August 10, 2013
12:11 pm
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Bob the Builder
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probably worth noting that Margaret Beaufort isn’t such an unlikely prospect as has been suggested – the ‘traditional’ date for the death/disspearence of the two Princes is late Summer – early Autumn 1483. Margaret Beaufort was until October 1483 a senior member of the court: she, for example, was Anne Nevilles senior bridesmaid at her coronation. it was not until Buckinghams revolt of October 1483 that MB was not attainted, but placed in the ‘custody’ of her Husband.

her Husband of course being Lord Thomas Stanley, who from the start of Richard III’s reign was certainly in the top 3 or 4 of his most powerful courtiers – and he remained so, and became even more powerful, aften Buckinghams revolt had been put down. some custody…

however, one great big inconvenient fact remains for the ‘Margaret Beaufort did it’ crowd: in 1483 killing the two princes brings her son no closer to the throne – there’s Richard III himself, early 30’s and a proven battle commander, his legitimate son aged 11(ish), his cousin Henry Buckingham, another nephew, John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln, and even Edward Earl of Warwick who, like Richards son, is a child. in footballing terms, MB killing the two princes is like breaking the legs of the substitutes – it has no effect on the game because the oppositions team is still filled with young, healthy, rich Yorkists who all have vastly better claims to the throne than Henry Tudor.

for me, its a toss up between Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, and Richard III – both have a good motive (for HS, it makes RIII look bad and puts him at the top of the ‘next-in-line’ tree, for Richard III its the knowledge that the two Princes might be boys in 1483, but in 1493 they’ll both be full grown men with a large and well placed extended family ready to raise rebelion against him or his son), and they both have the opportunity.

it is possible that instead of dying at the Tower Richard has them packed off to some obscure northern Castle where they live out their lives in relative comfort – that is after all what he did for George, Duke of Clarences children (who, interestingly, could have a better claim to the throne than his own son..), as well as the children of John Neville, an old friend who rebelled against York in 1471 and who died at the battle of Barnet, and that this secret ‘protective custody’ continued under Henry VII after Bosworth, but it seems pretty interesting that it never went public…

i’m not inclined to believe that Elizabeth Woodville had anything to do with it – firstly because its a pretty convoluted plan that has her or her daughters profit by their deaths, and secondly she was in Sanctuary, with no friends or supporters either at court or at the Tower. she was about as popular as Herpes within the political establishment, no one is going to take the kind of risks that the murder of Princes involve on her behalf. no motive, and no opportunity.

i think the answer, as has been suggested, as to why Henry VII never seriously looked into the disappearence of the two princes is because he knew that he might not like what he found – in the status quo he has an acceptable situation, if he were to repeal Titulas Regius, investigate the dissaperences and then find the two boys alive and well in Penrith castle he has a massive, massive problem.

it may even be simplier than that – he may have not investigated the disappearences because he ‘knew’ what had happened: it also fits with his apparently cautious nature that he’d be unlikely to repeal Titulas Regius and legitimise the two princes unless he was sure, absolutely sure they were both dead.

August 10, 2013
11:46 pm
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Bill1978
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Hmmm a natural death. I have never ever ever thought that was a possible cause. And yet, it could have been for either one or both.

August 11, 2013
12:59 am
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Boleyn
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Bill1978 said

Hmmm a natural death. I have never ever ever thought that was a possible cause. And yet, it could have been for either one or both.

It’s highly possible that both kids sickened and died of some tersian fever. After all it was mentioned (well sort of) that little King Eddy was well, and it could well be that whatever killed him such as the sweat for instance, could well have infected Richard at the same time, and he simply died soon after. Not uncommon given the sig of the times, after all both of Charles Brandon’s sons died within hours of each other.
The Tower wasn’t exactly very hygeinic (for want of a better word), and the guards that were there to protect them so to speak, mixed with all sorts of riff raff and you never knew what they were carrying in, same with the servants that brought their food. Granted I believe they had their own little circle of trusted servants, but again those servants too would have mixe with the riff raff within the Tower too.
If that was the case however why bury the boys in such an indecent way? If they had died of the sweat or whatever surely the guards or more so the keeper of the Tower, would have nothing to fear by simply saying, “Here look I sorry this has happened but both boys have died, what do you want me to do with the bodies?”
In anycase as the boys were declared bastards by Richard 3rd, what would it matter if the keeper had said they were dead?
If he had said they were both dead and Richard had seen their bodies, at least that would put pay to the pretenders, as E.W would have surely wanted to be with her boys bodies for a little while, and to prove or I should say confirm that the bodies were those of the boys.
I don’t get Margaret of Burgundy at all. Why was she so adament in insisting that first Lambert Simnel and then Perkin Warbeck were her nephews?
She had married and lived in Burgundy for may yeaars and hadn’t ever seen the boys before. Granted she would have received maybe an odd picture and maybe a report of how they were doing etc. But why did she back the pretenders claimm to the English Throne. She did rather make herself look a bit pathetic and stupid in my opinion. Wasn’t she thinking of what this would do to her niece?

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

August 11, 2013
3:06 am
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Mariette
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Boleyn said

Ok So I have just watched a documentary on the Princes in the Tower. Well known historian Suzanna Lipscombe has uncovered a document which states that the Duke of Buckingham paid someone in the Tower a large sum of money to kill the Princes as they slept.

Boleyn, have you seen this? Suzannah Lipscomb posted a photo of the relevant text from the Chronicle of London. I can just make out “vise of the Duke of Buckingham” at the bottom of the photo.

https://twitter.com/sixteenthCgirl/status/318806836851646464/photo/1/large?utm_source=fb&utm_medium=fb&utm_campaign=sixteenthCgirl&utm_content=318806836851646464

August 11, 2013
8:23 am
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Olga
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Thanks Bella, found it :) It’s in print too I just can’t get it here

August 11, 2013
11:17 am
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Boleyn
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Mariette said

Boleyn said

Ok So I have just watched a documentary on the Princes in the Tower. Well known historian Suzanna Lipscombe has uncovered a document which states that the Duke of Buckingham paid someone in the Tower a large sum of money to kill the Princes as they slept.

Boleyn, have you seen this? Suzannah Lipscomb posted a photo of the relevant text from the Chronicle of London. I can just make out “vise of the Duke of Buckingham” at the bottom of the photo.

https://twitter.com/sixteenthCgirl/status/318806836851646464/photo/1/large?utm_source=fb&utm_medium=fb&utm_campaign=sixteenthCgirl&utm_content=318806836851646464

Yeah I have seen that, it was in the documentary I posted Mariette. I hope you have been able to watch it, I found it facinating.
Buckingham did have a lot to gain from their deaths if you think about it, and like I’ve said I believe he did kill them but purely for his own selfish reasons.
Margaret Beaufort might have had a hand in it somewhere. Her husband had access to the boys, and it could be that she mearly allowed Buckingham and his men to get into their rooms, the rest was down to them, Margaret’s involvement stopped there.
I have had another off the latch idea as well. What about Jasper Tudor? could he have been smuggled into the Tower somehow to do the deed?

With Richard away on progress, what to say that Jasper couldn’t have come in on a trading ship from Brittany/France, let into the Tower by Margaret, killed the Princes and then simply hopped on the next ship back to Brittany/France. Job done Richard blamed end of story.

I still go with the Duke of Buckingham though.

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

August 11, 2013
8:06 pm
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Bella44
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Olga – I found it really interesting, it doesn’t go into anything too deeply but as I’m not terribly familiar with the Wars of the Roses I found it a good starting off point. And Margeurite of Anjou, Margaret of York and Cecily Neville (although more could have been written about her) come across as fascinating individuals.

Thanks Bo for the documentary, i always enjoy anything by Suzannah Lipscomb.

I’ve been thinking that whoever was in charge of the Tower at the time must have had a hand in the Princes’ deaths/disappearance. They were under his direct care at the time and unless he was utterly incompetent must have known what happened. And I’ve always thought there was something off about Buckingham too Bo, he rather strikes me as a total opportunist. He got his in the end when he was betrayed and executed though.

August 11, 2013
10:53 pm
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Boleyn
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I rather think Bella that Buckingham was two faced and could be your best freind one day and you enemy the next. I’ve heard a rumour some years back that he had planned to murder Richard and take the throne. Now is it just possible that rather than killing Richard, he would simply disgrace him somehow, or better still get someone else to do it for him, ie the people. This is yet another mad off the latch idea here by the way, but you should be used to them by now.
What if Buckingham did kill the boys, then put it about that Richard had done the deed say by Joe Blogs, who was a servent in Richard’s household. Joe Blogs would be executed for sure. But Buckingham still continued to lay the blame squarely at Richard’s feet, the people would not be happy to have a child murdering King on the throne and would rise up along with Buckingham and Buckingham would just sit back and let the people kill Richard, then when it was all over he would just calmly pick up the crown plonk it on his head and say “I’m King now”
If you think about it he was married to one of E.W sisters. Catherine, she would have then become Queen, and because of his marriage to her, her Yorkist affinty family would be on Buckingham side, and Richard would loose the love and loyalty of the people of york, because of his supposed crime against 2 innocent boys. Buckingham strikes me as a back stabber, in more ways than one.
BTW Catherine went on to marry twice more after Buckingham was killed in battle, one of them being none other than Jasper Tudor, H7 uncle.
Richard in my honest opinion is NOT guilty of murdering those boys.

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

August 11, 2013
11:13 pm
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Mariette
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Olga said

Thanks Bella, found it :) It’s in print too I just can’t get it here

Olga, it’s 42% off at Book Depository at the moment if you can’t find it here.Smile
http://www.bookdepository.com/…..0007309290

August 11, 2013
11:31 pm
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Mariette
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Boleyn, thanks for posting the documentary. I watched it yesterday, though not a good idea watching the bit about the Borgia’s just before lunch!
Buckingham is a likely suspect if the princes were murdered, as Vermillion wrote in an earlier post, possibly to curry favour with the king.

Bella, I agree that the Lieutenant/Constable of the Tower would have to have been in on it too. Imo though, whatever happened to the princes – murdered, disappeared, Richard III must have known about it and approved of it.

If the princes died of natural causes, why were their bodies hidden? Surely there would have been no need for secrecy then.

My favourite “Princes in the Tower” theory is Jack Leslau’s and the hidden clues in the Holbein painting of Thomas More’s family. What are your thoughts? It’s far-fetched but fascinating.

http://www.holbeinartworks.org/

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