The “Third Prince” – more thoughts
Many of you will remember Annette Carson’s contribution to last March’s Leicester conference, describing Edward, Earl of Warwick, as the “Third Prince”. He, barred by his father’s attainder, was just as significant as his cousins but we know that he was treated well throughout Richard III’s reign. From almost the day that that ended, he became a prisoner in the Tower.
Some decade and a half later, he was joined by one “Perkin Warbeck”, thought by many to be Richard of Shrewsbury, the middle son of Edward IV. Whilst people often point out that “Perkin” was not allowed to meet Shrewsbury’s mother (Elizabeth Woodville) or his sister (Elizabeth of York), possibly for fear of recognition, he established contact with Warwick. We know this because they were tried for a mutual treasonable conspiracy.
It is generally thought that they, and another cousin John of Gloucester, were executed in 1499 to clear a path for Arthur “Tudor”‘s Spanish marriage. Had the Earl definitely recognised his cousin, Henry VII had another powerful reason to dispose of him as well as the long-term rebel “Warbeck”.