More nudge nudge that Richard killed his nephews….

 

 
Edward V and a comically theatrical wicked uncle Richard

“….If we ignore Lady Jane Grey, then the monarch with probably the
shortest reign was Edward V. (Right now I can’t think of anyone else.) He succeeded his father on April 9, 1483, at the tender age of 12. His uncle took him and his brother to the Tower of London “for their protection.” Seventy-eight days later both boys vanished and the uncle was proclaimed King Richard III….”

So, although this article (another potted history) doesn’t actually level a bony, theatrically quivering finger at Richard, there is nevertheless the usual nudge-nudge-wink that he did away with his nephews. I wouldn’t mind if there was an extra sentence to point out that no one knows what happened to the boys, and that others had strong motives for wanting them gone.

I think they were hidden away, both to protect them from Tudor/Beaufort designs, and to prevent them from becoming the focus of rebellion against Richard. If Richard wanted them dead, he’d have had it done and then made much of their demise, probably putting their bodies on display. The fact that he didn’t tells me (IMO, please note) that he knew they were safe. He had them hidden away so securely that to this day we haven’t a clue of the whereabouts.

In my opinion they survived secretly and safely into the Tudor period and kept their heads well down to continue in secret safety. They were in far more danger from the Tudors and Beauforts than they’d ever been from Richard, because Henry Tudor had made them legitimate again and couldn’t afford for them to reappear to out-claim him!

20 comments

  1. Perfectly and succinctly put, without a single nudge nudge!! (Straightforward accusations are acceptable and valid!!) 😊😉

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  2. I am sorry to see the comment in the opening paragraph that their uncle took Edward V and his brother to the Tower “for their protection”. This apparently harks back to the old saw that Richard was responsible for the protection of Edward V. Which is wrong on two counts. For anyone unsure, let me explain the position. First, Richard was Protector and Defender of the Church and Realm, not the king. Once he had safely delivered Edward V to the capital and placed him in the Bishop of London’s palace at St Paul’s, it was the decision of the King’s Council as to where he was relocated (recorded in detail in the Crowland Chronicle, page 157). It was also their decision for his brother to join him. Second, the reason for lodging Edward V in the Tower was because the coronation rituals required him to process from there across the city to Westminster Abbey. N.B. If the Woodville plan to crown him in early May had materialized, THEY would have lodged him in the Tower too.

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    1. Such small details – the Council decided where E5 would be lodged, that his younger brother should be with him – so small, and yet with the significance of Mt Everest looming over an ant if omitted.

      Sort of the whole problem with Ricardian research, how to get these little details back into the conversation with scholars, writers, academics, historians so that they present an accurate perspective?

      It’s not just bias, or a lack of neutrality, I’ve long been inured to that, but as you say, excising these little details changes the conversation from a “so, how’s your wife?” to “when did you stop beating your wife?” trap meant to end conversation, not develop it.

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      1. Good question, London itself had its own separate Council, with the mayor and aldermen (along with other civic offices), and Edward would have had a Privy Council, many of whom we would know, and young Edward, as Prince of Wales did have his own Council at Ludlow, and I think several of those members (Rivers, Richard Grey, his half brother, Walter, Lord Ferrers, Thomas Vaughan, were all members – how often and to what degree they influenced the now King’s Council I couldn’t say)
        Annette C would, no doubt, know – I would also suggest various ecclesiastics would be part of this Council, regardless whether or not they were already part of E5’s Council as P of W
        Since “factions” were said to be rife in London (ie as per Mancini’s sources) this must have been a as yet undecided or firmly designated grouping – possibly QEW wanted more influence and added her son Dorset (from the E4’s circle) to this “King’s Council and that surely would have met with disapproval from Lord Hastings, who himself may not have made the cut.
        It SHOULD be an easy answer, with a tidy list in Crowland, (for example ‘all of the father’s closest advisors sat on the new king’s council’ – men like Thomas Stanley, Lord Hastings, Lord Howard, added to the Prince’s own council from Ludlow … time to check my Crowland …)
        The one group I am quite certain who were not on the King’s Council would have been from the Mayor’s own city council in London, they may have paid taxes to the King, in London, but they jealousy held to being separate from the King; like all English kings, Edward was keen to get their approval, as was Richard, but even happier to garner the financial support from its many very wealthy gildsmen, beyond that I doubt any of them sat on the King’s council.

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      2. Sounds complicated, though probably only in retrospect. One of those things that chroniclers wouldn’t have written down because it was common knowledge at the time. I take it there wasn’t any set number of positions to be filled?

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      3. Well, Kelly, I hate being stumped bu

        t I think we may remain so for the time being – you’re right in that Crowland’s author likely did know who the King’s counselors were but since they were SO well known did not bother to write them down – I have the Pronay edition of the Continuations (prob the same edition Annette uses as it is the most current one and ruinously expensive on amazon, I’ve had mine since it came out in ’86).
        perhaps because I am more interested in WHO the chronicler was than anything he wrote I have never given it the time it deserves AS a document for our purposes – and this question you pose is a good reason why!
        here we go, After a long discussion about ZACCHAEUS and other flaws with Edward, “such a gross man so addicted to conviviality, vanity, drunkeness, extravagance, and passion” Crowland is amazed that E4 could recall names and titles and offices and “circumstances of almost all men, scattered over the counties … just as if they were daily within his sight” – oh, and he was a “Catholic of the strongest faith” as well (pps 151-153) Clearly, Crowland was torn in how to eulogize the dead king.
        When he finally gets down to business, all we hear about the counsellors is that they were meeting with the Queen at Westminster (where Edward had died), but no names are provided –
        we do get this part however, which could be the closest we have for an answer – we hear that “all who were present” with the Queen “keenly desired” that the young prince succeed his father, (no surprise there) but “the more foresighted members of the Council, however, thought that the uncles and brothers on the mother’s side should be absolutely forbidden to have control of the person of the young man until he came of age…” (p. 153-5)

        again, no names are mentioned as to who were in this foresighted group – it is not until we hear that the “view of Lord Hastings, the captain of Calais” basically threatened that the would “rather flee there than await the arrival of the new king if he did not come with a modest force” – (you know that discussion, if E5 arrived with Rivers and Grey, his uterine relatives with an “immoderate number of horse” that gave all of them pause, and none more so than Hastings – Crowland explaining that the “benevolent Queen” advised son to bring no more than 2000 men to London (and allay fears)

        that finally brings Crowland to two more names, dukes Gloucester and Buckingham, but their ‘thoughts’ are in the mouth of Hastings, who is assured that they would bring no less a number.

        For myself, I remain fascinated by the anonymous Crowland chronicler, he clearly has information he chooses not to impart, and as he wrote after Richard III’s death there is, to me, a staleness in the information that is provided. He still has no first hand, personal experience with Richard, no more than he had had with Edward. He was not part of the inner circle of either king, nor even part of the next circle out from them. He may have had access to more accurate observations, for example, the grieving king and queen after their only child died, but observations, and that IS all they really are, from the outside. It has occurred to me that the Continuator may have hedged because to name people who continued from Edward’s service into Richard’s was a sticky choice – and possibly dangerous to those who DID remain with Richard (and there are MANY) Sir Thomas Montgomery, for just one example, was carefully omitted concerning his service with Richard in future Tudor histories for that very reason and numerous others who were brought into Henry’s service straight from Richard’s (and Edward’s) service would have been known to the Continuator (presumably!) so best leave names out!

        So, lacking hard details about this King’s Council it sounds like it was Edward’s already existing counsellors were the King’s Council Annette spoke of, and the “factions” that Mancini’s gossipy sources imparted to him were long established if Edward was still trying to negotiate peace between them on his death bed. Does make me wonder why, with Edward’s inner core around him, Dorset, Rivers, Hastings, St Leger, why he called on his ‘cousin’ John Lord Howard to go through those last changes in the will, Howard didn’t even realise that Edward WAS that close to death, taking several days to get to him from Tendring (Stoke-by-Nayland in Suffolk), with him conducting business in Stepney and London before continuing on to the king – he only just arrived at Edward’s bedside the day the king died or perhaps the night beforehand! (Like Crowland I could say more, but I will refrain …)

        THAT detail the Continuator knew nothing about – or felt too insignificant to relate, just tells me that he was so far outside the loop of what was going on within Yorkist court politics. I read a critique of Crowland where the reviewer praised the Continuator for their ability to always find the higher moral ground, whatever the event or situation, to rise above the tawdry and remain in that rarified moral plane that so few can attain.

        Yea, all well and good, but I would have preferred a few more of the what when where and why’s answered! And names, please!

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      4. Thank you for your replies to my questions. They are very informative. 🙂 It’s the curse of the researcher, isn’t it? Trying to fill in the gaps in the narrative, and all anyone can do is make an educated guess, and run the risk that the guess is wrong and becomes itself a part of the narrative. Leading to headaches for future researchers, who labor mightily to try to dislodge it after new information comes to light. I don’t envy the task.

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      5. Not to belabor this whole thing (but really wouldn’t you love to have a full scale investigation into WHO Mr Anonymous was?) And it is not impossible, IF I ever get through my current project I may just do that, and I will tell you why, I skimmed back thru the Pronay and something struck me THIS time around, in the discussion about dating the work Pronay found it quite easy as Crowland himself intended to conclude the Continuation with the “fall of Richard III” – excuse me? How did I miss this the first time around?
        Pronay further muses on the unhappy fact that the Crowland writer, having reached his “happily ever after” conclusion – with EoY marrying Tudor and ending all the strife and wars in April 1486 – was ending it just a tad too soon, as Pronay notes, for Crowland was just learning of “disturbances” in the north (eventually the rumblings of what would become northern uprisings and then the Lovell and Lincoln rebellion at Stoke in 1487).

        Dead giveaway now… I need to stop, I have enough on my plate BUT IF I were to start chasing down who Crowland was he’s left his fingerprints all over the document simply by intentionally giving it an endpoint, unlike manuscripts produced of this nature (Pronay does recognize this but doesn’t take it to the next level) – and this endpoint had a proscribed moralistic endpoint (bad Northern despot kills very young innocent children – typical of course, they’re all savages from the North!) See Crowland’s hysteria about the army coming south to invade poor little London, which is inserted around the time that Crowland is leading up to the Hastings coup (never called that btw) was another dead giveway, not only was our Crowland NOT part of the inner circle of Edward or Richard but that simple ludicrous rant about the Northern army descending on helpless Londoners is proof he was never IN London or if he was they had him sequestered in mothballs in some undercroft! The Londoners were a resilient and dynamic force to be reckoned with! Look into that rarely discussed incident at the Siege of the Tower in July 1460 (a very heinous situation actually for Londoners) or better known, how they treated the troops under the Bastard Fauconberg in 1471! They chased his right trusty men straight out of Aldgate clear to Stratford with bloody intent, and these were aldermen and gildsmen and commoners, not knights and Edward’s yeomen! And they put out the fires themselves – and sent Edward the bill lol! That is chutzpah! Not weak-kneed shut-ins like himself!

        Crowland would be a chore to 100% ID but it’s doable – which is why the coward thought he could avoid detection by using ‘anonymity’ as his cover. Clever, no. That too is a giveaway. I have to stop, I feel another project brewing! I’ll go out on a limb and just say he was Lancastrian and Queen’s party in sympathy (with clerical training, not yet convinced he was actually part of Crowland, he may have been ‘visiting’ for a specific purpose, ahem), and his use of Zacchaeus is also a key source I would further mine … I’m an art historian by trade and a “formalist” by way of researcher – meaning I find patterns and connections usually missed by others who use various other academic models – so when I say finding our Crowland is DOABLE I mean it, and I suspect other academics have sensed that they know who he is as well, but the answer would make the Established History very uncomfortable. When you have posited Crowland as the sole voice of unimpeachable veracity, a witness to the crimes of the Yorkists you protect that – whether unconsciously or consciously. Something about sacred cows – I see it in my field all the time.

        I’ll give this to Tom More, at least he put his name to his froth, true, he abandoned the work and lost all interest in it, and Erasmus may be right about alot of what More wrote, just a passle of mockery and word play, but at least he owned up to it while he was scribbling away at his fantasies. And no, not a fan of Tom More either – why?

        which Tom More-the-witness to the truth do you believe? the one who ruthlessly wrote the TRUTH about Martin Luther for his master H8? Whose description of Luther’s many crimes and moral lapses were such an affront you’d think he was Caligula and Nero all rolled into one? If so then is he still believable when he writes about Richard?

        as they say, falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus

        there is a reason More abandoned his grand ‘experiment’ in ‘history writing’ and I doubt it had anything to do with being busy London lawyer.

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      6. I think Annette answers that in “The Maligned King” and I shall check it when I finish reading the book that arrived on Sunday, unless she replies first.

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  3. I don’t want to get in a fuss-fight with the Viscountess, but she leaves herself open by not criticizing Coleman for his errors in fact and chronology. Instead, she presents a counter-fact, the incredibly noble and self-sacrificing Richard. I tell you, Christ and all the saints were also-rans in that category! (sarc,, of course) He hid the boys away secretly to save them from the Tudors, who had a track record (in 1483) of murdering everybody they could get their hands on. The proof for this? Well, has anybody ever found them? QED.
    IMHO, the simplest explanation (per Occam’s Razor), is that neither Richard nor Henry knew what had happened to the boys. Or if they did know, had a strong reason for not revealing it (the shame of a suicide, perhaps?).I do agree, though – if one or both did survive (a possibility, if not a fact), they had good reasons for ‘keeping their heads down.’

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    1. TBH I don’t think sarcasm is helpful in response to a serious debate … or at least something that Ricardians take seriously. Researchers, including Philippa Langley and myself, have expended a lot of time and energy following up documentary evidence that may in time be pieced together to suggest clues to the lives of Edward and Richard after 1483, much of which has not been shoved under the noses of the media. Can anything be said to be ‘QED’ without presenting convincing evidentiary support? Viscountess was expressing a considered opinion based on her own research, which I personally respect as much as any other considered opinion. Isn’t that what serious debate is all about?

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  4. This is why I should never try to be sarcastic. It may not be recognized as such. If you start, you have to label every word you utter as either s/ or non-s/. I was still being snarky when I wrote ‘QED.’ I did not mean to indicate that I had proved my point or even made one.

    No, it is not a part of serious research Research is what you do to prove a hypothesis or theory. One person’s theory is as good as another’s, admitted Especially if it can’t be proved or disproved.

    Besides, isn’t this site ALWAYS sarcastic/snarky about the Tudors – every last one of them? Except maybe Frederic.

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  5. this is a serious question – not intended to be snarky or sarcastic. -but if someone has a problem with the ‘tone’ and ‘content’ of a website – why do they continue to engage with it?

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    1. Because we want this to represent a serious group of people, not a bunch of swooning Ricardian fangirls

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      1. Please just close the door quietly on your way out. You’re being unnecessarily rude and I’d appreciate it if you stayed away in future.

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  6. halfwit – its very perplexing that you think that this site should change its perspective to suit you -the way the world works is that if you dont like what is on offer – then take the initiative and set up your own site where you can make your arguments in the way you think is appropriate – just as the people who have set up and run’ murrey and blue’ are entitled to do.

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  7. Superblue, I do think Annette spoke to why More discontinued his “History” of Richard in Maligned, my first copy is a mess of yellow highlighting so flipping back through it just tells me I highlighted … everything (ah well).

    What I am not sure about is if she – or anyone – has bothered with the identity of Crowland (she has HAD other pressing matters these last years) – it could just be a quirk of mine, this dodgy Crowland. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if any number of academics and scholars, in heir private bubbles, haven’t figured out who he was, but for alot of reasons, would never pursue it as a full blown theory put to the test. In my discipline mere inquiry is enough to get one shot, the academic end I mean, whereas in the studio art part of the equation, inquiry and challenging every technique and sharing it across disciplines (media, genres, etc) IS the reason you aren’t shot! go figure.

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