Needed to solidify his claim to the throne after defeating Richard III at Bosworth Field.
Were the remains of the two princes ever found? I can't remember.
I like to think those two princes would have been Beliebers.
We don't know. More importantly, was he gay?
Don't look at me.
They were also ahead of Richard in the line of succession, so he also had a motive.
Fond uncle, it's said.
Dramatic license by WS.
Were the princes uncircumcised?
Avaunt thou dreadful minister of hell!
yes r7 but there are records that he'd sent them to some distant castle for safety and paid for their upkeep. They could've died from disease, any number of things.
At any rate, they were too young to be on the throne and RIchard needed to forestall the Woodvilles so he crowned himself.
Prince Phillip finished them off.
Once Edward IV's marriage was declared invalid (because technically Edward was already married to someone else when he married Elizabeth Woodville), all the children, including the two princes, became illegitimate, so Richard was next in line. He didn't need to kill the boys.
However, after Henry VII took the throne after Richard was killed at Bosworth, he had to solidify his claim and did so by marrying the boys' eldest sister Elizabeth. But he had to re-legitimize her first. By doing that the two boys became legitimate once again, and if they were still alive they had a better claim to the throne than Henry. So Henry DID need to kill the boys.
If you want a really good book that is incredibly well researched, yet reads like a modern detective story, go find "The Daughter of Time" by Josephine Tey. Look on Amazon or ebay for a copy. I promise it's worth hunting it down.
I second r13. Beware of "The Princes in the Tower," by Alison Weir, the Darwin Porter of this subject.
"If you want a really good book that is incredibly well researched, yet reads like a modern detective story, go find "The Daughter of Time" by Josephine Tey. "
Terrific book, and it's the reason I clicked on this thread.
Prince Phillip had them killed, just like Diana.
They were killed by Henry VII or his mother, the formidable Lady Margaret Beaufort.
Diana had them killed? I didn't know that.
Interesting that no one has mentioned the current TV series on Starz featuring all of these figures. The White Queen. It portrays Richard as loving, loyal, brave and kind of hot.
"...after Henry VII took the throne after Richard was killed at Bosworth, he had to solidify his claim and did so by marrying the boys' eldest sister Elizabeth. But he had to re-legitimize her first. By doing that the two boys became legitimate once again..."
I want to know what Elizabeth thought about being married to a man who may well have killed her brothers, but apparently that hasn't gone down in history.
R1, R13 and R14 all ignore the fact that the princes were more than likely dead by the time Tudor took the throne. R11 cites nonexistent documentation of their removal from the Tower and upkeep elsewhere.
Cui bono, indeed.
I have read everything that the great Josephine Tey ever wrote, and enjoyed "The Daughter of Time" very much. However, her lovely and clever fiction does not account for the unlikelihood of the princes surviving an additional 2 years in the Tower after their purported deaths in 1483 (during which time no witnesses ever have emerged). Tey lacked information that has emerged since her story was published.
However, I will grant some possibility that their deaths actually were caused by Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, rather than Richard III. Buckingham, who died that year as well, found the boys standing in the way of his own claim in his attempt to topple Richard. Yes, he switched allegiance to Tudor, in a way, but that was when his own chances dimmed. And he acted in rebellion overtly on the assumption that the princes were dead.
The notion that their being neutralized by illegitimation left them harmless is naive. As long as a son of Edward IV was alive, no one - not Richard or Henry Tudor - was secure.
It was the grandfather of Jack the Ripper wot done them in.
[quote]after their purported deaths in 1483 (during which time no witnesses ever have emerged
Over 500 years ago! and we're still debating it. I love a historical mystery but I wish science would invent a time machine.
Two unexplained sets of skeletal remains were found in Edward IV's and Woodville's tomb in St. George's Chapel, labeled as a son and daughter whose bodies were later found elsewhere in the crypt. This was at the end of the 18th or beginning of the 19th centuries. (The royal crypts at Westminster Abbey and Windsor are oddly untouched and unexcavated - the difficult-to-locate journals on Victorian-era work in the Abbey are fascinating and show how hapazard and un-royal the burials actually were. All that stacking and piling.
Anyway, the suggestion was that the bodies of Edward V and his brother eventually were returned to Elizabeth Woodville, presumably after her and Edward IV's daughter Elizabeth became queen consort of Henry VII. Silence was golden, and surety. She and her agents would have had them quietly interred at Windsor with their father.
Some examination of the remains at Westminster Abbey from the Tower discovery would assist, but the royals have been adamant about not opening up the issue.
[quote]Some examination of the remains at Westminster Abbey from the Tower discovery would assist, but the royals have been adamant about not opening up the issue.
I wish the queen would just let them test the bodies. At least it would prove that it was indeed the princes. And what of the rumor that Elizabeth Woodville was able to smuggle out her younger son Richard? At least it would finally put to rest if it really was Edward V and Richard, Duke of York (and not an imposter).
So who did it? Was it Richard? Even though he had the two boys made illegitimate, they were still a threat to his throne. Or Henry Tudor, who had a very small claim and needed both Richard and the boys out of the way. Margaret Beaufort and Lord Stanley had access.
Why did nobody ever produce the bodies? Henry the VI was murdered but was still provided with a proper funeral.
This is probably the best historical mystery ever. Lots of suspects, no definitive proof on either side.
Hmm. I wonder if Charles would be more amenable to testing the remains. Something to look forward to.
Richard III loved them and sent them to a farm out in the country where they could chase rabbits all day in the sun.
T'was Buckingham. He ingratiated himself to Richard, while promising Elizabeth Woodville and her family he was on their side. Elizabeth W was a very aggressive, active conspirator, flailing around going with anyone she thought would help her.
Buckingham was a duplicitous, ambitious, craven despicable man, and had the guards replaced, and the attendants at the Tower apartments as well. Richard had entrusted Buckingham with the care of the two little Princes.
Richard was first informed that the boys were missing, then later that they'd been kidnapped. He was later informed one had died of the flu. Then, much later, he realized they were murdered. It took Richard far to long to fully appreciate Buckingham's treachery.
Buckingham was a cunning nasty piece of work. But Richard was very distracted. He was dealing with the death of his own son and then his beloved wife, as well as all the political intrigues and wars. R21 is essentially correct.
Why wouldn't the current queen want them tested?
Has she given a reason?
[quote]It portrays Richard as loving, loyal, brave and kind of hot.
That was his reputation prior to the Tudors taking the throne, R19. The victors write the history. It wasn't safe to write anything favorable about the House of York, certainly not about the last Plantagenet king, Richard III.
I haven't seen "The White Queen" yet. I'll download the "let's have more nudity" American version one of these days.
Henry Tudor was always up for undermining Richard before he ever set foot on English soil. Very shrewd, opportunistic fellow. Richard had the loyalty of many lords. He was a popular king with the people too.
When Tudor's/Buckingham's rumors and whispering campaign started about him killing his nephews, he began to lose valuable allies.
Elizabeth Woodville was not popular nor were her relatives. At one point, before they went to the Towers, her sons by her first marriage tried to kidnap the two princes.
She was trying to make an alliance with Henry Tudor back then, and ironically, Richard feared for the boys' safety, since their existence barred Henry from the Throne.
Richard had sworn to his brother Edward whom he adored, that he would protect the boys and he took that oath very seriously. Bottom line? Richard got played.
He was a brilliant commander of soldiers in a battle, but he had no aptitude or patience with the political intrigues. It was also said of him that he was too trusting, often gave people the benefit of the doubt long past the time when they'd proved treacherous. I love RIII, he was my special research project long years ago.
[quote]Richard had sworn to his brother Edward whom he adored, that he would protect the boys and he took that oath very seriously. Bottom line? Richard got played.
He had Edward's marriage to Elizabeth Woodville deemed illegitimate (that Edward was precontracted to another woman before Elizabeth) thereby making Edward's children bastards and unable to claim the throne. And then Richard crowned himself. I don't think he had any intention of crowning Edward V.
R31 is correct in that the winners write history. Now everybody thinks poor RIII was a murderous hunchback. Thanks, Shakespeare!
"Once Edward IV's marriage was declared invalid (because technically Edward was already married to someone else when he married Elizabeth Woodville), all the children, including the two princes, became illegitimate, so Richard was next in line. He didn't need to kill the boys."
Royal English offspring were often legitimized and deligitimized and then legitimized again. Look no further then Margaret Beaufort who descended from John of Gaunt by out of wedlock, Elizabeth I and Mary Tudor were both declared illegitimate and yet ascended to the throne. And part of Henry VII's claim to the throne rested, in addition to his being Margaret's son, being married to Elizabeth, the daughter of Elizabeth Woodville by Edward IV, who was also declared illegitimate.
So any assurance that a declaration of illegitimacy would be enduring would be completely misplaced. Simply holding Edward and Elizabeth's marriage invalid didn't mean that that decision wouldn't later be disputed and reversed.
Therefore, while Richard III may not have had the princes murdered, one can't argue that he didn't because he would have been convinced their survival wouldn't eventually foil his reign.
r29, because she's a cunt.
[quote]I haven't seen "The White Queen" yet. I'll download the "let's have more nudity" American version one of these days
It's entertaining enough and Max Irons is hot.
r30, lack of imagination
As I read my history, Richard was coerced by Buckingham when he declared the princes illegitimate.Buckingham was manipulating the situation.
Apparently there was a disreputable priest who knew the "secret" of Edward's prior marriage, and threatened to expose the fact that Elizabeth Woodville was not legal. Woodville was very unpopular and her family was hated.
They were also troublemakers and were actively undermining Edward's last wishes. He put Richard in charge as regent until the eldest son was of age. Elizabeth wanted to be regent and her brothers and oldest son were conspiring against Richard.
Anyway, Buckingham very shrewdly exploited all these divisions and problems hoping to advantage himself. Henry Tudor, watching from afar, let it all go down.
Richard's biggest flaw was that once you gained his trust, you owned him. He was a very excellent warrior, and a crap politician. His brother Edward excelled at both, but politics was his meat.