Catherine Laughton and Harry Howard, History Correspondents
Updated November 17, 2023 01:06, November 17, 2023 09:10
- It is now believed that the princes were murdered by their uncle Richard III.
Shocking new evidence suggests that rather than being killed, the Tower Princes may have escaped imprisonment and fled to Europe.
This contrasts with the prevailing idea that the two boys, 12-year-old Edward V and his 9-year-old brother Richard, were murdered by their uncle Richard III in order to gain access to the throne.
Shakespeare dramatized this theory in Machiavelli’s famous play about the King, in which Richard sends orders to a young relative to be murdered in the Tower of London.
Amateur historian Philippa Langley, who discovered Richard’s body under a car park in Leicester, has revealed a series of “startling discoveries” that support her theory that the princes had escaped.
She will present her findings in a Channel 4 documentary on Saturday. In “Princes in the Tower: New Evidence,” Ms. Langley describes the “astounding discovery” she made after seven years of research.
She believes that the two boys dismissed as heirs to the throne, Lambert Simnel and Perkin Warbeck, were real princes.
Each of these boys launched an unsuccessful attempt to oust Henry VII near the end of the 15th century.
Edward V, who was never crowned, and his younger brother were the sons of Edward IV, who died in 1483.
After being declared illegitimate heirs by the then Duke of Gloucester, Richard III, the two princes were taken to the Tower of London and subsequently disappeared from historical records.
Experts have long wanted to examine the remains of four children, two found in the Tower of London in the 1600s and two in the grounds of Windsor Castle in the 1700s. I was hoping some of it might belong to Edward and Richard.
However, the late Queen Elizabeth is understood to have blocked any investigation because the body had been buried in the royal crypt for many years.
Langley said documents pulled from European archives show the princes’ escape and subsequent plans to invade England.
She conducted a study with 300 freelance researchers to find out what really happened.
The historian, whose findings are outlined in his new book The Princes in the Tower, has published important contemporary documents showing that Edward V and Prince Richard were Warbeck and Simnel. discovered.
One is a purported eyewitness account of Prince Richard, describing how he was stowed away from the Tower of London by Henry and Thomas Percy.
Experts have proven that this was written during that period.
The report states: “They shaved my head, put me in a rough, dirty shirt and went to St. Catharines.” [dock]. ”
Additionally, he states that he was taken by ship to France before going to Portugal.
The other is a document from the Netherlands, dated 1483, which appears to bear a royal seal and the signature of “Richard, Duke of York.”
The text states that Richard promises to pay Albert, Duke of Saxony, 30,000 florins after he takes the throne of England.
A man named Richard leads a small army and lands in England in hopes of seizing the throne. When his first attempt failed, he fled to Scotland and launched another bid in 1497.
After being captured, he signed a confession declaring his name to be Perkin Warbeck, but Ms Langley believes it was more likely Prince Richard.
The third is a receipt for arms given by King Maximilian I of Germany to “the son of Edward IV” prior to Simnel’s failed rebellion in 1487.
The prevailing belief about Simnel is that he claimed to be, or was, Edward, Earl of Warwick. However, Ms. Langley suggests that Simnel may actually have been a young King Edward.
It’s not clear how the new evidence fits with the 2021 research Langley was involved with.
The project suggested that Richard III may have helped Edward and allowed him to live under a false name in a rural village in Devon instead.
Scholars followed a trail of papers containing medieval documents that led them to Coldridge, where symbols of Royal Yorkism were carved into the local church, St Matthew’s.
The discovery suggested a secret agreement between the boys’ mother and Richard III that allowed Edward V to live out his life under the pseudonym “John Evans.”
The church also contains a portrait of John Evans looking directly into the stained glass window depicting Edward V, suggesting that the two men were the same person.
Princes in the Tower: New Evidence, co-hosted by Philippa Langley and Rob Linder, airs on Channel 4 on Saturdays at 8pm.