The year is 2015 and in the city of Leicester, the body of recently discovered Plantagenet King Richard The Third was finally laid to rest, almost 530 years after being slain at The Battle of Bosworth Field and this recent discovery has once again brought up the ancient question, Did he murder The Princes in the Tower? A question that may never be truly answered, only speculation thrown about by historians and people in general regarding the matter. A question I personally don’t understand why it’s a big deal, I’ll explain why in this blog.
It’s the 1400’s, The War of the Roses and thousands upon thousands of soldiers have been killed in order for either The Yorkists or the Lancastrians to secure the throne but in 1483, Two young princes disappeared under the protection of Richard, Duke of York who then became Richard III, seemed a little suspicious as he never produced the bodies or confessed to anything and The Tudors afterwards pretty much laid the blame of the Princes death on Richard’s doorstep. Pretty easy for historians to agree with Henry VII and his family as Richard had no means of defending himself.
Two bodies were found under some stairs at the Tower of London and they were considered to be the Princes who were later buried at Westminster Abbey in 1674. Whether it really was the two murdered princes, we’ll never know.
It was interesting to see Phillipa Gregory and David Starkey over Richard III and personally, I wished David would have just shut up and kept his biased opinions to himself, it was the man’s funeral and he was insulting a Yorkist King in York…I lost all respect I had for that man with that move, what an idiot! you don’t go to York and say that they are better off not having him buried there, has he been taking advice from Jeremy Clarkson on being controversial or is it just because he hasn’t been very relevant in recent years? saying that Thomas More and Shakespeare were right on Richard III isn’t very professional….Thomas More was 5 when it happened and it’s clear that Shakespeare (who isn’t a historian) was trying to amuse Elizabeth I by praising her grandfather for being heroic. I’ll bet you anything that Starkey would easily defend a Tudor if they committed the crime so how can his view be taken seriously if it’s so biased? And Starkey, if you so sure that the Tudors were correct in EVERYTHING that they said about the Tudors, PROVE IT! I can’t prove your right or wrong, I’ll admit but you can’t prove that Richard definitely did it either and even if he did…so what! Get off your high horse! no use kicking a dead man’s corpse, is there…he isn’t around to receive the abuse, is he?
I’m sorry if I went on a rant there but I was upset with Starkey and had looked up to him for years before I watched what he said on Richard III, it was distasteful and disrespectful, uncalled for even! he was one of the reasons I got into history. History is full of murderers, look at the Romans for example! but I guess he is entitled to his opinion, even if I don’t like it. I meant no disrespect to Starkey and his views, I only thought they were said at the wrong time.
It’s an issue that could be with this whole story is the propaganda that the Tudors spread about Richard The Third, when you think about it, he couldn’t deny any of it, he was dead after all so who was going to speak out and say that what the Tudors were saying were lies? The Yorkists? very unlikely, The Tudors by the time of Henry VIII were secure enough on the throne and the closest threat to them Reginald Pole eventually fled the country, leaving his poor mother Margaret Pole to face the executioners axe.
William Shakespeare made Richard appear as a vile monster who would kill all in his way to get what he wanted, ultimate control of the throne but lets not all forget that their was a war going on! it’s not as if Richard didn’t know about Henry VII in France and the possible invasion in the future, could a child defend the country?
Here’s Richard III to defend himself
If Richard did in fact murder young Edward and Richard then I have a question of my own to ask, why should we care? anyone else would have done the same thing if they were in his position, he wanted to be king! wouldn’t you? Don’t get me wrong, murder is murder but back in Medieval days, this sort of thing wasn’t exactly uncommon! it was the way things were done then and we act all high and mighty about it today, it’s a joke! you can’t use modern day thinking to judge an event from over 500 years ago!
- Wouldn’t Henry VII have done it if he needed too?
- Edward IV had Henry VI murdered in cold blood
- Henry IV had Richard II starved to death
- Edward II was murdered by his wife Isabella (Red hot poker up the bum…ouch)
- It’s likely that Henry I had his brother William II murdered in the New Forest
Murder was common in the quest for power yet this one case has turned Richard III into a villain, it seems a little harsh to me, especially when so many other monsters in English Monarchy have perhaps committed crimes on the same level, I mean was Mary I just wasting matches as she burned Protestants at the stake? Oliver Cromwell had the king Charles I executed, the actual King who people thought was placed on the throne by God!
Two quotes by Napoleon Bonaparte really sing true when I think about the Princes In The Tower mystery, and they are as follows.
”History is a set of lies agreed upon”- Napoleon Bonaparte
”History is written by the winners”- Napoleon Bonaparte
Maybe we don’t talk about any of these horrible deaths because…we know who killed who but with the Princes Murder, no one can guarantee that it was Richard or Henry that did it, it’s all just speculation and maybe it’s the not knowing who really did that makes us enjoy arguing over ‘whodunit?’ let’s face it, it’s fun to debate over it. Did the Tudors have the princes murdered and cover it up by blaming a dead man?
And why would the Tudors need to go to such lengths to make Richard look so evil to the rest of the world, the man was dead after all, it seemed unnecessary, unless it was a cover up, a dark Tudor secret that it was in fact Henry VII that had the Princes murdered but placed the blame on a dead Richard to cover his tracks…who’s going to defend Richard? No one for about 500 years, when it’s way to late. There is no way to prove this but it isn’t impossible, is it?
Or perhaps, the mastermind could have been Margaret Beaufort.
True Henry was abroad but Margaret was in England and she was Henry’s Mother, she believed that her beloved son would become King and would do anything to ensure that this happened, possibly even murder. We do not know but if we can blame Richard then why not Margaret? It’s true that Richard had the most to gain with the Princes’ Death but who knows, the Princes were Yorkists and Henry VII was a Lancastrian, it wouldn’t be strange for a murder to take place.
On the other hand, if Henry or his Mother did indeed have the Princes put to death, then why wouldn’t they just produce the bodies and place the blame on Richard? perhaps because people would ask questions like
- How did you know where the bodies were?
Why didn’t Richard or Henry just make their death look like an accident, I mean Henry I (if he did) was able to do it, did anyone question it and vilify Henry afterwards, nope. he ruled without any issue about the method of obtaining the throne and it was his own brother who had been murdered!
If it was you that was in Richard’s position in 1483, would you have had the Princes killed? I’d say you’d be a fool if you say no, I know that I would, I’d rather seize the power and be king and I’ll imagine that deep down, many others would do the same…maybe not in the modern day but things were different in 1483, very different.
Two years later, Richard dies at Bosworth Field and Henry VII becomes the first in the Tudor Line to rule England, the beginning of Tudor Propaganda against Richard III would begin with Thomas More and William Shakespeare calling Richard evil and how his death was well deserved yet in 2015, the final king to fall in battle in England gets full honors as he’s finally laid to rest in Leicester Cathedral, probably not what The Tudors would have wanted but their all dead….so I don’t think they can do anything about it, do you?
In an opinion, if we definitely knew who murdered the Princes in the tower, would we talk about it as much as we do? probably not, it would just be another chapter in history that we would talk about but not to the extent or with as much interest as today, another closed chapter it would be, alas it will likely always be an open page in the History of the World, probably never to be closed.