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Drama and Desire: Crime of the century (Audio)

August 17th, 2010

In 1483 two royal princes disappeared from the Tower of London. The Princes are depicted in Paul Delaroche’s “The Princes in the Tower”, on display at the AGO for a limited time as part of Drama and Desire: Artists and the Theater.

From Wikipedia:

“The Princes in the Tower, Edward V of England (4 November 1470 – 1483) and his brother, Richard of Shrewsbury, 1st Duke of York (17 August 1473 – 1483), were the only sons of Edward IV of England and Elizabeth Woodville. They disappeared without a trace from the Tower of London in 1483. Both princes were declared illegitimate by an Act of Parliament of 1483 known as Titulus Regius. Their uncle, Richard III of England, placed them both in the Tower of London (then a royal residence) in 1483. There are reports of their early presence in the courtyards etc., but there are no records of them having been seen after the summer of 1483. Their fate remains unknown, and it is presumed that they either died or were killed there. There is no record of a funeral.”

Who’s responsible for their disappearance? Who had the motive? Who had the idea? Who actually carried out the deed? Listen to the suspects and help solve this crime!

The Duke of Buckingham

The Duke of Buckingham

Henry Stafford (1455-1483), 2nd Duke of Buckingham, was a Lancastrian contender for the throne – a claim as powerful as that of Henry Tudor. If Buckingham killed the princes and blamed Richard, his path to the throne was a lot clearer with only Henry Tudor as a rival.

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King Richard III

King Richard III

Richard III (1452-1485) was Lord Protector of the two princes when their father King Edward IV died. The princes were next in the succession and this made them the target of many plots. As a result, Richard III put them in the tower for safekeeping (for their own good?). But then in 1483, Richard III was crowned King and the princes were nowhere to be found.

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Sir James Tyrell

Sir James Tyrell

Sir James Tyrell (c. 1450-1502) was an English knight and trusted servant of King Richard III. He ‘confessed’ to the murders of the princes but under Richard’s orders and under torture. Not exactly trustworthy evidence is it?

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King Henry VII

King Henry VII

King Henry VII (1457 – 1509) was deeply concerned with securing the throne and justified his claim by calling himself the last legitimate male descendant of Edward III. With the princes out of the picture, who else could claim the throne?

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