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What happened to the two princes in the Tower of London? Show more Show less
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In 1483, the sudden death of King Edward IV left the throne of England in the hands of his 12 year old son. Edward IV's son, Edward V, and his brother were taken into custody by their uncle at the Tower of London, and disappeared shortly after. Although there has been much speculation as to what happened to them over the years, no one truly knows the fate of the two princes.

The two princes were murdered Show more Show less

Many stood to gain from the deaths of the two young princes, and the list of suspects is limitless. That being said, there are a few notable suspects with proper means, motive, and opportunity.
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The two princes were murdered by their uncle Richard III

The most commonly accepted theory is that Richard III murdered his two nephews in order to take control of the throne.
History

The Argument

The most common theory is that the two princes were murdered by their uncle, Richard Duke of Gloucester. Richard took the two brothers to the tower of London shortly after their father died and pronounced himself the Lord Protector until Edward V was of age to rule . It was in the tower of London, in Richard’s custody, that the two princes disappeared.[1] Richard also stood to gain the most if the boys died, with the two princes out of the way he would be the next king. Richard had the means and opportunity to murder them, as they were with him in the tower of London. He could have also paid someone to murder them for him, in order to create a believable alibi. Thomas More wrote that James Tyrell, an English Knight who served Richard III, confessed to being paid to smother the two boys in their sleep by Richard Duke of Gloucester. [2]This claim is made more believable by the two skeletons found buried under the stairs in the tower of London in 1674, about 200 years later.[3]

Counter arguments

Many believe that killing the princes would have actually been unnecessary for Richard Duke of Gloucester to become King. In June of 1483, before the disappearance of the two princes, Richard issued the Titulus Regius, which was a document explaining that the two princes were illegitimate and therefore had no claim to the throne[4]. This document allowed for Richard to ascend to the throne while the two princes still lived. If Richard had already guaranteed the throne for himself, he would have had no need to murder the two princes. This act would have been unnecessary and would damage his reputation.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.spookyisles.com/what-happened-to-the-princes-in-the-tower/
  2. https://thehistoryofengland.co.uk/resource/the-fate-of-the-princes-suspects/#:~:text=More%20motive%20falls%20on%20Margaret%20Beaufort.%20She%20had,So%20the%20princes%20really%20stood%20in%20her%20way.
  3. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-457528/Did-princes-Tower-survive-Essex-bricklayer.html
  4. https://thehistoryofengland.co.uk/resource/titulus-regius-and-gloucesters-claim-to-the-throne/
This page was last edited on Thursday, 29 Oct 2020 at 08:13 UTC

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