There are numerous theories about what happened to the boys in the Tower…and exactly who may have done it. Well, one points the finger at the omnipresent Dr Argentine, under whose dubious care no fewer than three royal patients passed away: the boys in the Tower, and after that Prince Arthur, the Tudor heir.
In 2005 there was an excellent TV drama—Princes in the Tower—in which Argentine was played by the superb John Castle, as you can see in the illustration above. There was something about the way the doctor was portrayed that made me dislike him completely. Castle really is an excellent actor, and managed to make the character he was playing seem very, very sly. His Argentine made my skin crawl. Not that at the time I was left thinking him guilty of anything beyond being a creepy enemy of Richard III.
“….Now an unlikely suspect has emerged from the shadows after 500 years: the royal physician. ‘The doctor did it,’ according to detective work by Mei Trow, an historian and crime writer.
“….He believes that Dr John Argentine murdered not only the young sons of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, who were just 12 and nine respectively when they disappeared in 1483, but Prince Arthur, heir apparent and brother of the future Henry VIII, who was just 15 at his death in 1502.
“….All three were patients of Dr Argentine….”
So, was Argentine a medieval Harold Shipman, as also suggested here? If we were able to go back through his records, would we find an alarming number of his patients died questionable deaths, even by medieval standards? Were the three known royal deaths the pinnacle of his achievements?
There is, of course, the old saying about being “bled to death”.