The Princes in the Tower by Alison Weir


  6 opposite page Illustration from The York Roll: at the top is Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, 'the Kingmaker', and his wife, Anne Beauchamp, the mother-in-law whom Richard III treated so callously. To the left is Warwick's daughter Anne Neville with her two husbands, Edward of Lancaster and Richard III, with Edward of Middleham, Prince of Wales, her son by Richard, below. To the right is Anne's sister Isabella Neville with her husband, George, Duke of Clarence, and their children Edward, Earl of Warwick, and Margaret, later Countess of Salisbury.

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  7 The Tower of London: contemporary sources indicate that the Princes were imprisoned in the White Tower. The forebuilding housing the staircase beneath which the bones of two children were found in 1674 may clearly be seen in front of the White Tower, facing the River Thames.

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  8 above left Henry Tudor: this obscure scion of the royal house, whom Richard III referred to as "an unknown Welshman', claimed to be 'the very heir of the House of Lancaster'.

  9 above Elizabeth of York and her sisters: Elizabeth claimed that Richard III 'was her only joy and maker in this world, and she was his in heart, in thought, in body and in all'.

  10 left Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond: a wise but dangerous woman who 'imagined the destruction of the King' (The Rolls of Parliament)

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  11 opposite page The Princes in the Tower: Lord Chancellor Russell wrote that Edward (right) had a 'gentle wit and ripe understanding, far passing the nature of his youth'. The French chronicler Jean Molinet describes York (left) as 'joyous and witty, and ever ready for dances or games'.

  12 above Sir Thomas More: 'I shall rehearse you the dolorous end of these babes, not after every way that I have heard, but after that way that I have heard by such men and such means as me thinketh it were hard but it should be true'.

  13 above right The burial of the Princes: More says they were buried 'at the stair foot, meetly deep under the ground, under a great heap of stones'.

  14 right Ruins of the minoresses' convent at Aldgate after the fire of 1797: here, in 'the great house within the close', lodged four ladies who may well have known the truth about the Princes' fate.

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  15 The remains found in 1674: 'They were small bones of lads in their teens, fully recognised to be the bones of those two Princes' (Eye-witness report, 1674; Archaeologia).

  16 The urn in which the bones repose in Westminster Abbey: 'a curious altar of black and white marble', designed by Sir Christopher Wren in 1678.

  17 The skull of Anne Mowbray: York's child-bride and the Princes' cousin, exhumed in 1964. Dental evidence indicates a familial relationship between her bones and those in the urn.

 


 

  Alison Weir, The Princes in the Tower

 


 

 
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