‘Richard III and the Princes in the Tower’ Talk by Matt Lewis – Jan 30th

(c) The History Press

At the end of January I watched Matt Lewis’s interesting talk about Richard III and the Princes in the Tower. The princes were the subject of Matt’s book, ‘The Survival of the Princes in the Tower’, which was published in 2017.

(c) Matt Lewis

Some of Matt’s main points were:

If Richard III had the Princes killed, it was to end the threat to his throne. But if the deaths were not publicised, nothing was gained.

Did the Duke of Buckingham plan to put himself on the throne? Henry Tudor only seen as a potential king after the Duke of Buckingham is executed. Did Buckingham want the Princes out of the way? Richard passes up the chance to put the blame on Buckingham.

If the Princes were not murdered, what would Richard do with them? They could have been looked after by Richard or possibly sent abroad.

If Richard had them in custody in 1483, he had 2 options.

1. King John and his nephew, Arthur of Brittany (son of his older brother, Geoffrey). John had Arthur arrested and it is widely believed that he had Arthur murdered.

2. Henry IV had the sons of Roger Mortimer taken into custody and they were eventually placed in the household of Henry, Prince of Wales.

The idea of the survival of the Princes in the Tower.

No proof that they survived but we don’t know what evidence was destroyed. We can hope to see the effect of their continued existence on those around them.

There is circumstantial evidence that one boy survived beyond Richard III’s death.

Elizabeth Woodville never accused Richard. Why would Elizabeth hand over her daughters otherwise?

Jack Leslau believed that Edward V survived as Edward Guildford. His daughter Jane, was able to inherit his goods when he had left no will. Jane married John Dudley who became the Duke of Northumberland.

Jane was described on her tomb as ‘right noble and excellent Princess.’ This could have been because she was the daughter of Edward V.

John Dudley masterminded the plot to put Lady Jane Grey on the throne. Jane Dudley insisted that her son, who had been married to Jane Grey, become King and not King consort. Was this because Guildford was the grandson of Edward V and it was a joining of the white rose to the Tudor.

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