“Open the Box” (or urn)?


Now that John Ashdown-Hill’s new book (bottom left) on the Tower of London and the “Princes” has been published, we are in a position to know Edward V’s mtDNA, which he would share with his brothers and maternal cousins such as Jane or Henry Pole the Younger. Progress has been made since Moran’s appendix to The Private Life of Edward IV, which detailed potential maternal line relatives who were alive as late as 2016.

Westminster Abbey is, of course, a royal peculiar and it has hitherto proven impossible to obtain permission to access those remains – of whatever number, gender, age, era or species – that purport to be those of Edward IV’s remaining sons in the modern scientific era. They were, however, last asked in 1980 (p.185) and Richard III himself has turned up by this method.

These findings ought to be a game changer and there are more good reasons to be proceed. In 1933, the work of Jeffreys, as of Crick, Watson et al, was wholly unforeseen. Radio carbon dating was also invented after the Second World War.


So, with apologies to Michael Miles and Take Your Pick (below right), is it time to “open the box”?



By super blue

Grandson of a Town player.


  1. Mixed feelings. If, as we suspect, it’s bronze age bones contained in the urn, it won’t really tell us anything, other than they were put in there to make it “appear” that More and Shakespeare were correct, which would be in Richard’s favour as it would be evidence that it is not them. If it was them on the other hand, even if it could be proved they were killed and how, although it wouldn’t exactly point the finger at Richard, there are many who would foolishly take this as proof that Richard was guilty.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There’s always the chance that the bones just might be those of Edward V and his brother, which wouldn’t be proof that Richard killed them, but wouldn’t help his case any. Perhaps there should be an attempt at carbon dating first, to determine if it is really necessary to go on with DNA testing. Thus, if the remains are bronze age, or from the time of Charles II, – no need to go on.
    a passing thought – what if the testing reveals one was ‘royal’ and the other was not? That’s possible too, though with longer odds.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s no reason why the two processes couldn’t be done at the same time… Even if the bones were to be released once, the chances of them being released twice would be highly unlikely.


    2. If there is one set of conforming remains, we may indeed need to resort to radio carbon dating to discern a “Prince” from Henry Pole the Younger – see the “Mythology” for further information.


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