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EDWARD V–YOUNG APOLLO OR INVALID?

There are some, though increasingly few in number, who still wish to believe the ‘bones in the urn’ at Westminster are, without doubt, the remains of Edward V and his brother, Richard of York. Professor Hicks, among others, chides those who ‘do not wish to believe’ despite ‘the best medical opinion of the day.’ (Extraordinary statement, since Hicks has doubted the veracity of Richard III’s remains, despite overwhelming modern scientific confirmation…yet in the 1930’s, prIor to the advent of Dna testing,not even the sex of pubescent/pre-pubescent children’ remains could be accurately ascertained, let alone their identity.)

The examination of the fragmentary skeletons shows that the elder of the two suffered some kind of dental disease, either the potentially fatal osteomyelitis, or the lesser but still painful and unpleasant oteitis. In the former ailment, modern day patients have described their faces as ‘swelling like a balloon’, have complained of ‘not sleeping properly for a year with pain’ and having ‘stabbing pain in jaw, face and eye area.’ This is with modern medical intervention, including powerful painkillers and antibiotics. In oteitis, bone forms rather than is destroyed; although not generally as painful as osteomyeletis, or potentially life threatening, it is still an inflammatory response to peridontal infection, and would be connected with abscessed and decayed teeth. Uncomfortable at the very least and can also cause swelling and pain.

Now the young Prince Edward was never once in his lifetime described as sickly or unattractive. Indeed, he was described, in glowing terms, as a veritable young Apollo and a budding scholar of high intellect…
Mancini writes:

“He had such dignity in his own person, and in his face such charm that however much they might gaze, he never wearied the eyes of beholders.”

“… I should not pass over in silence the talent of the youth. In word and deed, he gave so many proofs of his liberal education, of polite, nay rather scholarly attainments far beyond his age; all of these should be recounted, but require so such labor, that I shall lawfully excuse myself the effort. There is one thing I shall not omit, and that is, his special knowledge of literature, which enabled him to discourse elegantly, to understand fully and to disclaim most excellently from any work whether in verse or prose which came into his hands, unless it were from among the more abstruse authors.”

Although young Edward’s household was in Ludlow, he was not hidden away from the world in any wise. From 1480 onwards, there are at least eight recorded instances when he was involved in public activities with his father, Edward IV, or at court with his parents.

The above hardly sounds like the activities or description of a sickly boy wracked with constant dental pain and infection. The fact that Edward had a physician, Dr Argentine, with him need not imply sickliness. It was normal for royalty to have their own private physicians to attend to their well-being.

George Buck is the only writer of the past to mention that Edward V may have been unwell. He gives no proof, other than none of his full blood siblings lived to a very great age. I am sure most traditionalists would not be inclined to accept Buck’s idea in this regard, as in other respects his reports on Richard are positive ones and question the Tudor ‘story’ and it would surely mean they had to give some credence to them!

So, it comes down quite simply to this:
If Dominic Mancini is to be believed, and Professor Hicks postulates he may have even met the young Edward V, the youth cannot have been suffering any noticeable afflictions or physical abnormalities. Any such blemishes would also surely have been noted in his public appearances (if such appearances were even possible had he been chronically ailing). They were never mentioned.
So therefore, if Edward V was the bright, handsome and intellectual young ‘Apollo’ of Mancini’s glowing description, it is almost impossible that the child with the abnormal jawbone ,whose remains lie in the urn in Westminster, is in fact him.

Sources:
Annette Carson- The Maligned King
Dominic Mancini –The Usurpation of Richard III
Michael Hicks-Edward V
http://www.oralhealthgroup.

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28 thoughts on “EDWARD V–YOUNG APOLLO OR INVALID?

  1. Iris on said:

    Excellent post, only I wish that at least in Ricardian circles we started citing Mancini’s work with its original title “De occupatione regni Angliae per Ricardium Tertium” that has nothing to do with the word “usurpation” and the connected meaning of “taking power unlawfully”. Maybe if we start with this exercise despite force of habit, some others will follow

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Kalina on said:

    As I remarked many sources connecting with Richard initially in Latin were translated into English wrongly. I suspect there are the old translations from XIX c.

    Liked by 1 person

    • In this case it’s a XX century translation. Mancini’s report was discovered in 1934 and translated and published in 1936.

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      • Kalina on said:

        There is the French title on the later cover (XVIII-XIX c.?): L,Usurpation d,Angleterre a Richard III. Or something that. I can be wrong in details, but “usurpation” certainly is.

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      • I don’t know which cover it is, but every source quoting or talking about Mancini says the manuscript was found in 20th century in Bibliotheque Nationale in Lille in 1934 or 1936 (I’m not sure which as I’ve come across both dates, but probably 1934 as it says it was translated and published in 1936 by Charles Armstrong).

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  3. Occam’s razor thought, if the bones in the Urn are DNA tested and compared
    to Richard III’s DNA and found to be close relatives, can we ask how many sons
    Edward IV had? If the health issues rule out their being precisely Edward V and Richard IV, could they be two tragic and hapless sons of Edward IV who perhaps
    did not have Elizabeth Woodville as their biological mother? We then have to ask
    exactly when in a tidy time span between say 1460 and 1483 has the Tower rather
    empty, given how their bodies are left under the stairwell in the manner they were!

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  4. Or if we add roughly 8 years to 1483 we have Henry VII looking very guilty.
    Again, Perkin Warbeck may have been poor Richard IV and we know he was
    beheaded by Henry Tudor because he did have a solid claim to the throne!
    A simple DNA test rules things in or out if it can be carefully and accurately
    done! Sir Thomas More is infamous for chasing after rumors, the account
    he has is below the journalistic standards of William Randolph Hearst given
    that it has us asking more questions than it seems to answer! Odds are they
    are Plantagenets and not Romans or Celts or simply from the Anglo-Saxon
    times prior to 1066. A set of kinship relationships can be found via the DNA.
    Buckingham’s bold revolt in 1483 hinges on perhaps the ancient gossip he seeks
    to blame on Riii. Henry Tudor’s revolt is trying to beat out the moment in time
    when Edward V becomes a technical adult, namely his 15th year. Did Richard
    have an idea precisely of all that the Duke of Buckingham was indeed saying?

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    • Why do you say ‘Odds are they are Plantagenets…’? At the depth they were found, isn’t it more likely they were from a much earlier period? I’m sure Annette Carson makes a good case for this in The Maligned King’.

      Liked by 2 people

      • hoodedman1 on said:

        I often think of the man who was charged with murdering his wife and dumping her body in Lindow Moss. When a skull was found, he threw up his hands and admitted to the crime. However, the skull was from a woman some 2000 years old!

        Liked by 1 person

      • … or Bertie Manton, who killed his wife at the time of several air raids.

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    • Since the bones were never carbon dated, we don’t actually know at all from which period they are. And since they were found so deep in the ground (10 feet – 3 m), it seems more likely they were from an earlier period.

      It certainly wouldn’t be the first time that skeletons of “Plantagenet royalty” turned out to belong to people of much earlier time periods, as was the case with another child skeleton found in the Tower in 1970s that turned out to be from the Iron Age, or the warrior buried with his horse in Leicester (also 10 feet deep) that a couple of builders found in 1990s and believed to be Richard III, who’s likely to have been a Saxon warrior based on the manner of burial.

      The main problem with the bones of the two children that were thought to be ‘the princes in the Tower’ is that the queen is not allowing them to be exhumed, presumably because she doesn’t want to open the door for further exhumations of various historical figures. If they did exhume the two skeletons, I don’t know if they could determine without a doubt if they were or weren’t (if they turn out to be the right sex and age and time period), since they don’t have the mitochondrial DNA available. A comparison to Richard’s DNA could be tricky – a match would confirm the relation, but a mismatch would not rule it out, because cases of false paternity are always possible at least in theory, so instead of determining they aren’t the ‘princes in the Tower’, it could just resurrect the old rumors about Edward IV’s paternity (which I don’t believe in, but you never know for sure).

      Liked by 2 people

      • Kalina on said:

        Is it impossible to find any succesors of Woodville family? The sisters of Princes in Tower had some children I suppose…

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      • Well, there are lots of descendants of their sisters, of course – the Royal family of England is among them – but finding any in the unbroken female line is the tricky thing. An unbroken female line from any of Elizabeth Woodville’s sisters would also do as well.

        John Ashdown-Hill was hoping a few years ago to extract the DNA from the lock of hair of Mary Tudor (daughter of Elizabeth of York and Henry VII), but the locket where the lock of hair has been since the 18th century proved impossible to open. There was another locket with a lock of her hair, but I don’t know what is going on with that.

        Liked by 1 person

    • hoodedman1 on said:

      Working in the archaeology field, albeit as an acolyte, I do have real problems accepting these bones as the Princes. The only thing that gives me even the smallest bit of doubt is possibly the similarities in dentition to Anne Mowbray. They weren’t actually in the stair well as far as I could see but under solid layers near the foot…that’s if of course the place they were found is in fact correct. We have no PROOF of this at all; in reality they could have been from anywhere in the bailey where human remains are often found. (Another child in the 70’s, dating to the Iron Age.) Not surprising, there was a massive Roman basilica on the site, and native British settlement earlier. No police called, no photos, not even drawings in situ, no such thing as archaeology back then…and not even thought of as important for several days…hmmmm.
      I just don’t understand, if the bones should be the princes, why anyone would bury them in such a public place, requiring huge amounts of manpower in ONE NIGHT to make a TEN FOOT excavation (which would have to be braced.) If that’s the case, LOADS of people were in on it! The Tower was a palace too, with a huge household…surely someone would have noticed? Why not just quietly, under the cover of darkness, put them in the crypt of the nearby chapel, in someone else’s tomb chest? Or smuggle out the bodies as sacks of something or other and deposit them in the river or far into the countryside?

      Liked by 2 people

      • I’ve often said the same thing: there were hundreds of people in and out of the Tower every day, and many lived there full-time with their families. There were just too many people present for those bones to have been buried there “in secret” , ten feet under a stone staircase that took many men several days to dismantle in the 17th C., and then rebuilding that staircase ALL IN ONE NIGHT with no one remembering and telling Tudor. No way, no how. Just can’t have been done. Thos4e bones are Roman at the earliest, and maybe older.

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      • (Wish we could edit our posts) My last sentence should read “Those bones are Roman at the LATEST, and maybe older.”

        Liked by 1 person

      • bloodofcherries on said:

        I agree that More’s story is implausible, but his book also wasn’t published until the mid 1500s (although apparently it was passed around earlier). Why this gap? As late as 1499 Henry VII still believed that at least one of the princes might be alive so why, if all this time there were people around who knew what had happened and were willing to tell More, did none of them tell the king? He spent a fortune on Perkin Warbeck so presumably would have been grateful for proof that his nemesis was a fake. Of course, More also wrote that they were dug up again and reburied somewhere else. Add that to all the other funnies and I’d be surprised if the bones were the boys.

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      • More’s book was unfinished and not published in his lifetime. It was only first published in 1557 by his son-in-law.

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  5. Iris on said:

    There would be no need to dna the bones in the urn if radiocarbon dating ruled them out as 15th centuries skeletons and/or male skeletons. If they were 15th centuries boys’ skeletons, their mitocondrial dna could be matched with the skeleton of EW resting in Windsor, which would call for a further exhumation, but it would not be the first case in police investigations, even if not especially for cold cases, at least in Italy.

    Proving the bones in the urn are not the boys’ would not prove what happened to them, so research cannot stop at the momentary impossibility to reanalyse those bones, but it would at least debunk a myth and I am sure tourism at Westminster Abbey won’t drop even if they do turn out not to be them. On the contrary, I’d expect historical tourism and literature (both non fiction and fiction) would boost the more evidence is found, just as it happened after the discovery of Richard’s remains in Leicester.

    On the other hand, proving the bones in the urn are indeed the boys’ would not prove who prompted their death, if it was not due to natural causes. An analysis of the bones might help find the cause or at least rule out a list of causes, but I am not sure how closer to knowing the boys’ fate we would be. Imho it is nonetheless better to investigate more than less.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, but they would need to get a permission to exhume Elizabeth Woodville, just as they need a permission from the Queen to exhume the skeletons of the two children found in the Tower under the stair, and the Queen is not allowing it. This is the major stumbling block.

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    • bloodofcherries on said:

      I think the biggest question is if DNA could be extracted from the probably very contaminated bones in the urn. They have been handled by who knows how many people and were even mixed with animal bones and rubbish. It’s true that Richard’s mtDNA can’t be used as this is passed on through the female line and they are descended from different lines, but his Y chromosome could. It’s not clear where in the Plantagenet family tree the “false paternity event” occurred that led to the modern Beaufort descendants not sharing Richard’s (or each other’s) Y chromosome, but even if it was in the Duke of York’s line of descent it should equally affect Edward IV, Richard III and the princes. There should only be a mismatch if either Richard, Edward or his sons were the products of false paternity and that’s unlikely. So you wouldn’t necessarily need to exhume Elizabeth Woodville, but of course you’d still need permission to open the urn.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kalina on said:

        Pater semper incertus, but a mother of Princes of Tower is certainly Elizabeth Woodville. I suspect that her exhumation from the tomb in St. George Chapel will be difficult as well as the bones in the urn in Westminster Abbey.

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  6. Iris on said:

    Of course. Let’s see if she or her successor in the future change their mind, the question is if it happens during our lifetime or not. It took over 500 years to have a dignified interment for Richard, at least I could witness that…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. i feel that “timetravelingbunny” is very correct. I’m assuming the courtiers of Charles II had a very good idea of how much ground was disturbed at, under or near the stairwell, and had given an allowance for the prospect that London had been occupied from Roman times onward if not earlier. Elizabeth II most likely is most thoroughly against DNA testing the dead royals, let alone cloning a very genius level and brilliant Sir Isaac Newton, who also rests inside Westminster Abbey! I feel a good DNA test could prove Riii to be very innocent! It might be a jaw dropper! I am torn, either the two lads have Edward IV as a father or they don’t! I am saying he obviously had quite a few children and not by Elizabeth Woodville! (GOTO the Human Shredder) We know documents were modified and what was left tends to buttress a claim not unlike that of William the Conqueror where 1066 and 1485 become linked.

    The finding of Richard III and the subsequent invasive dietary analysis done on his bones confirms he ate like a king towards the last few years of his life. Had any of Edward IV’s children a better claim to the throne through both their father and mother it is most likely a death sentence on them by 1486 or 1487 but this does not say that its actually Henry VII who killed the two Princes in the Tower! The bones untested in the 1600s urn suggest an open question, that is being kept open for fear of what one of the possibilities could be! Someone wants to avoid looking at things deeply… rather than in a very superficial way. I discovered some Youtubes online to the trial in the 1980s that was televised. http://www.r3.org/on-line-library-text-essays/jeremy-potter-richard-iiis-historians-adverse-and-favourable-views/ At one point in the trial, the very dated 1930s take on the bones that had a comparison to poor short-lived Anne Mowbray had me pausing and thinking over recessive traits. Is it three or four lines of descent from Edward III that Richard III has? His father has two lines of descent, his mother has John of Gaunt’s name cropping up somewhat infamously for he had a famous mistress! Once again, by the ironical and sardonic rules of the “Cousin’s War” via a curious logic we see that anything remotely quasi-legal that legitimizes Henry Tudor only strengthens Richard III’s claim! (Let alone that of Warwick the Kingmaker directly, too!)

    “The high tide of revisionism was reached in 1983 when Ricardians, now under the royal patronage of H.R.H. the Duke of Gloucester, celebrated the 500th anniversary of Richard’s accession. In that year the Chairman of the Richard III Society, Jeremy Potter, published Good King Richard ?, a survey of the Great Debate subtitled An Account of Richard III and his Reputation 1483-1983.

    In 1984 members of the Society prepared evidence and appeared as defence witnesses in a television trial of Richard for the murder of the princes.The Trial of Richard III, a London Weekend Television production, was transmitted on Channel 4 for four hours on a Sunday evening. The script, edited by the producers, Richard Drewett and Mark Redhead, was published as a book under the same title. The jury, which had been chosen to represent a wide cross-section of the educated public, returned a unanimous verdict of ‘not guilty.’”

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  8. i feel that “timetravelingbunny” is correct. Even if my hunch at best has only 50/50 odds but could actually clear Riii we have the situation where Elizabeth II dreads the day and hour where a very bright team of scientists totally want to disturb the eternal rest of Sir Isaac Newton and clone him!
    I’m very much assuming Henry VII had Richard IV beheaded easily more than 15 years after Bosworth Field happened! I agree in that I reduced down what was deduced in the reign of Charles II to a mere handful of possibilities, assuming they as a group all understood how much ground and/or soil was disturbed under or near that Norman stairwell…

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  9. “The high tide of revisionism was reached in 1983 when Ricardians, now under the royal patronage of H.R.H. the Duke of Gloucester, celebrated the 500th anniversary of Richard’s accession. In that year the Chairman of the Richard III Society, Jeremy Potter, published Good King Richard ?, a survey of the Great Debate subtitled An Account of Richard III and his Reputation 1483-1983.

    In 1984 members of the Society prepared evidence and appeared as defense witnesses in a television trial of Richard for the murder of the princes.The Trial of Richard III, a London Weekend Television production, was transmitted on Channel 4 for four hours on a Sunday evening. The script, edited by the producers, Richard Drewett and Mark Redhead, was published as a book under the same title. The jury, which had been chosen to represent a wide cross-section of the educated public, returned a unanimous verdict of ‘not guilty.’”

    http://www.r3.org/on-line-library-text-essays/jeremy-potter-richard-iiis-historians-adverse-and-favourable-views/

    IMOHO — At one point in the televised trial, poor short lived Anne Mowbary’s bones are being talked about. Science clearly has gone past what we thought we knew in the 1930s and even if the Uni of Leicester team has a reputation for being somewhat “slapdash” or rushed when doing fieldwork in a TIME TEAM manner… lets now think over how much biology and genetics has changed due to how we sequence DNA! We are on the verge of having the ability to clone a Neanderthal, let alone someone more recent! This may happen in the next 30 to 50 years! Seriously said! — The MBEs that PL & J.AH were given this June were well deserved! Is it two or three lines of descent from Eiii that Riii has? His father has two, his mother has one from John of Gaunt via his mistress! His father has an extremely solid claim that only was augmented by how he marries!

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