Tuesday, 24 March 2015

All This Fuss for a Murderer - Richard III Undoubtedly Killed the Little Princes in the Tower.

What is all this mummery and tomfoolery about the funeral of Richard III? Has the Archbishop of Canterbury really got nothing better to do than to flap around in purple robes waving a crook and insisting that Richard III wasn't one? After the battle of Bosworth Field, Richard's body was taken by Franciscan monks and buried in their monastery grounds. It's not their fault it ended up five hundred years later as a car-park. That could happen to anyone. But the point is that he did get a proper Christian burial. And a state funeral is way over the top, for a man who was quite definitely a murderer. 

     I'm not just saying that because of Shakespeare's play, and I have no prejudice at all against people who suffer from scoliosis. I'm sure it was tough for Richard having a crooked back and being ridiculed for it. It is very important to doubt whatever we are told, and look for historical proof. When we do so, all of it seems to me to point to Richard being as guilty as hell.  
     The Richard III Society is, to serious historians, what the Flat Earth Society is to serious scientists - a joke, On TV, Philippa Langley of the R3-Soc was unconvinced by the strong circumstantial evidence put forward by David Starkey. But Starkey was cut short by Jon Snow before he could state a quarter of the evidence there is against Richard III. 
     Richard, Duke of Gloucester, was the younger brother of King Edward IV, who deposed Henry VI after defeating him in the War of the Roses. Edward married the beautiful widow Elizabeth Woodville and had three children, so he was well provided with heirs. Moreover, there was another brother, George, who was also older than Richard. He too had children, who preceded Richard in the order of succession. Richard was only seventh in line to the throne, yet he maneouvred in such a way as to seize power within three months of Edward IV's death. All that cannot be coincidence.
    When Edward IV died, in April 1483, he left two sons, aged twelve and ten. There was no particular reason why the elder, Prince Edward should not be crowned. Earlier kings had been crowned even younger. But wily uncle Richard declared himself Lord Protector, and immediately ordered the princes' tutors and guardians to be sent away to the North of England. He had his nephews lodged in the Tower of London, which was not a royal residence. It was a prison.
     Two months after Edward IV's death, a sermon was preached in London, declaring that his marriage to Elizabeth Woodville had been invalid, and therefore both boys were illegitimate. They could no longer claim the right of succession. Nor could their elder sister Elizabeth, who was aged sixteen. This was awfully convenient for Richard as it brought him three steps nearer to the throne. And it seems to have been done on his orders.
    The next person to be got out of the  way was George, Duke of Clarence. We all remember that in the play he was drowned in a butt of Malmsey  - the sweet white wine that came from the tiny peninsula of Monemvasia in Greece. Lovely place, it looks like a Christmas pudding. The fact is that three days after the sermon, Richard had his brother George arrested and stripped of his rank by "attainder", a sort of disgrace that was only supposed to fall on those convicted of a capital crime. It is true that George had once wavered in his support for the Yorkist line. He had changed sides during the Wars of the Roses and fought with Warwick the Kingmaker in one famous battle. This was the pretext for now accusing him of treason, though all that was twenty years ago and their brother Edward had held no grudge, after he came to the throne. In Richard's eyes, George's worst crime was that of coming ahead of Richard in the line of succession. 
    George never had a trial; he had no lawyers, no defence and no rights as defined under Magna Carta. Once he was in prison, George did not live very long. Whether it was Malmsey, or sherry, or just water, he certainly did find his way into a barrel head down, and feet up. George's children were barred from the succession by the terms of their father's attainder, denied all rights of inheritance then bundled out of the way hurriedly. The huge estates that George had owned were appropriated by their kindly uncle, Richard.
    So with three more claimants eliminated, in June 1483 Richard had Parliament declare him King, and he was crowned later that year.
    The two young princes simply disappeared. What happened to them? Why were their mother and their sister not allowed to visit them or know what happened? If they had died from some illness or natural cause, there was no reason why Richard should not have said so, quite openly. The bodies could have been inspected, and a funeral held. But it never was. A doctor was visiting them often, in the Tower, so if they died of an illness why was this never diagnosed, recorded or confirmed by that doctor? They were in the Tower of London, under strict guard, so nobody else apart from Richard could have killed them or ordered their murderIt is quite possible that the two princes were simply left to starve to death.
    It was pretty obvious to most people in England in 1483, if not to Philippa Langley, that this string of coincidences was more than suspicious, it shrieked guilt at the top of its voice. Richard had managed to grab power by pushing everybody else out of his way in the space of three months. 
       The universal belief that Richard was guilty was the major factor that toppled him from the throne. The family of Elizabeth Woodville and the other leading nobles could not stand by and let the usurper get away with his crimes. They led a rebellion and Henry Tudor, a distant cousin, provided them with the claimant they needed to depose Richard in 1485.
        If Richard III did not order the murder of the two little princes, only one other person could conceivably have done so, and that is Henry Tudor, who became Henry VII.  Yet shortly after he became king, he married Princess Elizabeth, their sister. Would she, or her mother, have agreed to this if they had the faintest suspicion of Henry being the murderer? I think not.
        Richard was a villain. He had it coming, he so had it coming.
        In 1789, two bodies were found that are very likely to be those of the two murdered princes. They were discovered inside the vault of Edward IV and his wife, in St George's Chapel, Windsor. There were two children's coffins with them, bearing the names of two royal children who had died in their father's lifetime. But the remains of these two bodies were found elsewhere in the vault. Somebody had replaced them with two others, which have never been identified. In 1789, no means existed to identify these skeletons, already by then three hundred years old. Perhaps it is time for some DNA testing to be carried out on them, and if one of them is indeed the murdered King Edward V, I think he should get the state funeral, not his frightfully wicked uncle, Richard III.

Elizabeth,11 February 1466 – 11 February 1503  She was four years older than her brother Edward, Prince of Wales Edward V (2 November 1470 – c.1483)[1] was King of England from his father Edward IV's death on 9 April 1483 until 26 June of the same year. He was never crowned, and his 86-day reign was dominated by the influence of his uncle and Lord Protector, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who succeeded him as Richard III on 26 June 1483; this was confirmed by the Act entitled Titulus Regius, which denounced any further claims through his father's heirs. Edward and his younger brother Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York were the Princes in the Tower who disappeared after being sent to heavily guarded royal lodgings in the Tower of London. Responsibility for their deaths is widely attributed to Richard III, but the lack of any solid evidence and conflicting contemporary accounts suggest four other primary suspects.

When Edward IV died, Prince Edward was aged twelve, and his elder sister Elizabeth was already aged sixteen,

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