It can now be revealed…
Minutes of the Disposal of the Princes Sub Committee
Held at the Tower of London, Fetterlock Suite.
His Grace King Richard III (in the Chair)
My Lord Bishop Russell (Chancellor) (BR)
His Grace the Duke of Norfolk (Earl Marshal) (JH)
My Lord Viscount Lovel (Chamberlain) (FL)
Sir Robert Ratcliffe (Representing the North) (RR)
William Catesby (Legal Team) WC
Lady Audley-Beauchamp (Acting Head of Yorkist Intelligence) (M)
Bert Scroggins (Press Officer) (Pleb)
BR opened the meeting with a short prayer (twenty decades of the rosary.)
The Chair welcomed Members to the meeting, and indicated that wine and wafers were available on the side table. Members should help themselves and leave 2d in the dish. This was claimable on the quarterly expenses claim. The Chair expressed his regret that a mess of strawberries was not available on this occasion.
Minutes of the Previous Meeting
It was noted that ‘had a mild cold’ should be amended to ‘both had extremely bad pneumonia from day one, due to lack of care when in Woodville custody.’
The Amended Minutes were approved nem-con, and ordered to be signed by the Chair.
Burial of the Princes
JH suggested that the obvious thing to do was to put them in a boat – at night – take them out into the Thames and dump them over the sides. RR added that he knew where some cheap hessian sacks could be obtained. FL said he knew there was lots of old armour lying about the Tower that could be used to weight the sacks. JH agreed it was important the sacks should sink. He suggested old anchor chain. As it happened, he had some in stock.
BR protested at length. Said it was much more obvious to bury the boys in the proper place, the chapel of St Peter ad Vincula. This would enable proper funeral rites to be observed. Pleb pointed out that this might involve admitting the boys were dead. BR said that apart from anything else, that was the whole point of their unfortunate accidental death brought about by tragic misadventure. The bodies needed to be properly displayed so that people would know they were dead. WC added there were good precedents for this. The Chair said he was minded to agree. He had a black suit of clothes in need of an airing, and would be happy to attend the Service in the Capacity of Chief Mourner. That way everyone would know how upset he was. Moreover, no plots could then arise to put the boys back on the throne. Pleb pointed out certain presentational problems. WC advised that the boys could not be put on the throne anyway, as they were a) bastards and b) dead.
M said this was all far too straightforward. The Intelligence Service took the view that it was much better to create a mystery, and confuse people as to what had happened. With good luck, people would still be pondering what had happened in 600 years time. This was a highly desirable state of affairs as such matters ought not to be in the public domain. M added that in the view of the Service, the bodies should be disposed of in the most impractical way possible, and that every encouragement should be given to ridiculous rumours, which would naturally would add to the desirable confusion and mislead our enemies within and without the realm.
After a lengthy and wide-ranging discussion it was,
1) That tenders be obtained from suitable contractors to partially demolish a suitable staircase within the Tower, and dig an excavation beneath it to the depth of at least ten feet.
2) That the bodies be placed in the said excavation and suitable prayers, etc., said. (BR to arrange)
3) That the work described above be then made good.
4) That subsequently a suitable priest (BR to arrange. JH and FL to provide labourers.) be employed to dig everything up again and remove the bodies to a more suitable resting place. (BR to arrange.)
5) That the activity above be carried out in broad daylight, and no attempt be made to discourage members of the Tower community from approaching the work site – subject to Health and Safety considerations.
6) That no official announcement be made on this subject at this time or at any future date, in order to increase speculation to a maximum.
Any Other Business
M informed the meeting that she was in correspondence with the Dowager Duchess of Burgundy with regard to the provision of ‘feigned boys.’ Once these had been taught English and court etiquette they could be released to cause still further confusion. The Sub-Committee approved this action.
There being no further business, the Chair declared the Meeting closed. He invited Members to attend him to Greenwich for dinner and hawking. Pleb apologised for not being able to attend, as he had rumours to spread in the local taverns