I have always been a huge history buff. In fact, history was my second major in undergrad. If I had it to do all over again, I would have gotten a PhD in history and become a college professor. I am particularly interested in British history. This started back at the age of ten on my first visit to England where I feel in love with Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII, and the Princes in the Tower. Over the last twenty years, I have always wondered who killed those two little boys (if both of them were even killed).
Me standing in front of Traitor’s Gate at the Tower of London!
History, which is written by the victors, has indicated that it was their uncle, Richard III, in his greed quest to claim the English throne. This is entirely possible; however, there are other parties who had equal or better interest in wanting the boys dead. There are even some conspiracy theories that one or both of the boys got away and live civilian lives in exchange for their sister, Elizabeth, becoming Henry VII’s queen.
The Bloody Tower – The area where young King Edward V and his brother Richard, Duke of York, were held and possible murdered.
I was even more fascinated when the bones of Richard III were discovered in Leicester last year. Thomas More, who worked for Henry VII, described Richard as an evil, lecherous, “crookback,” and this view was commonly accepted for hundreds of years. The bones indicate that Richard was 5’8″ (above average height for the period) and suffered from scoliosis. There are many historical accounts that show Richard to be a fairly pious and benevolent monarch. Of course, there were executions he ordered that would make us squeamish in modern day; to hold the throne was a life and death struggle. He was nowhere near his great nephew when it came to brutality.
Thirsty for more knowledge, I joined the Richard III Society last summer. I get regular mailings/emails from them not only about Richard but about other historical figures and life in Yorkist England. It is a great hobby for me, and I am trying to convince the family to move to York, although unsuccessfully, I am afraid.With that said, there have been a couple different sets of children’s bones found, two at the Tower of London and two at Windsor. The set from the Tower of London, now buried at Westminster Abbey, seems to be the most promising. It would be very interesting to test the DNA or Richard III’s bones vs. these sets. Unfortunately, the Church of England will not allow this. While a negative or positive test would neither condemn nor exonerate Richard, it would be fascinate to know if one or both of those sets of bones belonged to the princes. I, for one, hope they got away.
Now, for some pictures of one of my favorite places in the world!
Me at Tower Green, where royal and noble executions took place.
Me in Wakefield Tower where many famous prisoners were held.
Eric and me at the entrance to the Tower of London.
A Tower Raven – Legend has it that if the ravens leave the Tower, the kingdom will fall.