Tuesday, January 15, 2013

What Really Happened to the Princes in the Tower?

An Artist's interpretation of the Princes
in the Tower

Can we really know for sure? No. But i think I've just about reached a very, VERY possible conclusion. One that might appease both Traditionalists and Ricardians (or Revisionists, they like to call themselves Ricardians though) And of course, I've been doing (and still am!) extensive research in the mystery surrounding the princes. (Since next year in high school I'm required to do a research paper on ANY topic, I'm planning on writing about the Princes I want to get as much research on the topic as i can.) Something happened behind the Tower walls in summer, 1483 and i believe I've found a reasonable answer.

There is one thing that most author cans agree on and we can be certain of, Richard III IS the murderer of both princes. No matter how big a Ricardian fanatic you are, your theories on other murderers doesn't have nearly as much proof supporting it as does those theories involving Richard as the murderer. But some say the Princes weren't murdered at all? What about that? Some say Edward V was involved in the Simnel conspiracy and killed at Stoke, is there truth in that? No. Even some Ricardian supporters are willing to agree with me on that one so that speaks to it's authenticity. :) As for the younger one, Some say that he was the Perkin Warbeck who caused so trouble for Henry VII. This is not true either, we have records of a Perkin Warbeck (or Pierrechon Warebecque) living in Tournai, where he said he was from. Also Warbeck wrote his mother a letter with some personal information in it. How would Richard Duke of York know personal information about a common family for Tournai? Unless he was living with them. We don't have records to support that theory so it's just conjecture.

So, we can safely say the Princes were murdered, and by Richard III or at least, his orders. But how or  why? We will never know for sure how since they died over 500 years ago! but why, now that's something we can figure out (i feel like we're playing that board game Clue, :) ) A piece of evidence that has recently come to my attention is that, once placed in the Tower, Richard III had planned on keeping them there locked up in secret. He wasn't as kind to them as he was to Lincoln (see yesterday's post) and Warwick (Clarence's son) because he personally believed the story that Edward IV was only his half-brother and thus, he didn't believe the Princes to be of real York blood. But, very not long after that, an attempt at rescuing the princes failed. (and failed miserably but, it was still an attempt!) And Richard realized what a dangerous these two "Heirs" could be.

So he then gave the orders for their murder. (They were probably suffocated as most historians say) I mean, if there just causing problems and not really of royal blood, why keep them around? Their death will make room for the real house of York. And the reason they were never seen again is because Richard knew not everyone agreed with him on the legitimacy of Edward IV and it would be safer not to tell anyone.

As for why Henry VII didn't make a big deal out of their disappearance is because it didn't seem to be causing him any problems and he might as well just leave well enough alone. And also at the time of their murder he was off in Brittany, he didn't know any of the details. A lot of Ricardian supporters blame their murder on Henry. But really he didn't do it! Remember when Henry VII caught Lambert Simnel? He spared him because of his youth (and because he was really quite innocent in the matter) Also, look how long he waited to order Perkin Warbeck's execuation. Murdering the princes is not something in Henry VII's character, also, even with the Princes out of the way their would've still Richard III's other nephew, John de la Pole and his brothers to worry about. Therefore it would not have been practical for Henry to have them killed.

And it most certainly wasn't Margaret Beaufort! That's just a rumour that start somewhere and has abosulately no basis in fact, sorry to break it to ya! (and we can thank Philippa Gregory for it believe :P ugh...)

Even though we may never know the exact details of what happened that summer in 1483, we can come close. And since i had just recently finilized this thesis I thought i would share it with you since it seems the most logical conclusion. And for you Ricardians out there, I too believe that he wasn't Shakespeare's hunchback monaster but, he's not a saint either. (sorry to break it to ya!)

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