The Mysterious Disappearance of Henry Pole the Younger in the Tower of London


Reblogged from A Medieval Potpourri


Picture this…a young lad of about thirteen or thereabouts.   Royal Plantagenet blood coursing through his veins.  His father is dead and no longer able to neither protect nor  save him.  His mother is also no longer around to help or comfort him.    Life has changed for him overnight and will never be the same again.  The servants who tended to his every need are gone.  Alone, perhaps frozen with fear and full of dread he is taken into the inner bowels of the Tower of London – I’m not talking about the ghastly cell known as Little Ease but I’m not talking the  royal apartments either  – after which hair or hide of him is never seen again. Poor little blighter.  Ring any bells? Gadzooks!  ‘Oh god not that old chestnut again!’ I hear some of you groan – but wait – read the heading – this is not about one of the sons of Edward IV but of another lad of noble lineage, Henry Pole the Younger,  who also disappeared mysteriously from the Tower.   


Old photo of the cell known as Little Ease.  I’m not suggesting young Henry ended up here but the knowledge that such places were deep in the labyrinth that was the Tower must have struck terror in even the stoutest of prisoners.  

This young Henry was the grandson of Margaret Pole,  Countess of Salisbury, daughter of George Duke of Clarence who was executed by his brother, King Edward IV in 1478 and Isobel Neville, daughter of the famous Richard Neville later known as The Kingmaker.      Aspects of the story mirror that of  the sons of Edward IV who also disappeared while staying at the Tower  but whereas gallons of ink have been expended on the subject of these two royal lads Henry remains something of an after thought in the pages of history.  It has been suggested that he may have been starved to death.  A cruel death but one that would avoid the shedding his blood.  Neat eh?  If we were to  follow the same trains of thought of those that believe the sons of Edward were murdered in the Tower because they  were last seen alive in the Tower, ergo they must have died in the Tower,  and thus  a heinous child murder had taken place then the same conclusion must be arrived at for Henry.   However if poor Henry was not one of  Richard III’s ‘victims’ it seems as if his possible murder doesn’t count so what’s the problem?  But seriously,  where is the outcry?  Where is the denunciation?  There is none.   Whereas Richard III – held responsible for his nephews deaths by many for over 500 years  – has been vilified up to this very day and particularly by a cohort of modern historians who really should know better.   While the ‘murders’ of his nephews has been surely the absolute worst lump of mud to be chucked at Richard, the possible murder or death brought on by  the wilful and cruel neglect of an equally young and innocent Henry Pole  ne’er evokes hardly a mention.  How strange.    Rather than having the charge of child murderer hurled at him, Henry VIII is  better known, in the main,  for having been the husband of  the unfortunate Anne Boleyn –  as well as  five others,  two of whom were executed –   and  to a somewhat lesser degree the cause of the  Dissolution of the Monasteries.  This seems unfair to me.  But could it be that in actual fact Richard – which even his haters have to admit or stoutly ignore –  prior to the death of his brother, Edward IV and the legal disinheriting of his nephews led, on the whole,  a pretty honourable life for your average 15th century nobleman.  This is difficult for those that try to defend the usurpation of Henry Tudor.  What to do?  Well go down the propaganda route I’d say.   For who can admire someone –  who enables the murder of young defenceless children?  However the most sensible route to go down if  one is a cheerleader of a dynasty that has gone down that cruel route would be to  do all in one’s power to Shut It Down And Make It Go Away or as a last resort Fake Amnesia.   And so we can see why the fate of the young Henry Pole has remained to all intents and purposes muted.  


To continue reading please click here.


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: