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Murder Mystery
In the 1490s a man claiming to be one of the princes made a claim to the English throne as Richard IV.

Murder Mystery

Murder Mystery asks questions about the two princes.

After Edward IV's death, his two sons were placed under the protection of their uncle, who later became Richard III. They went to the Tower of London where they were to be housed until the eldest was old enough to be crowned. Richard declared them illegitimate and had himself crowned as king. The two boys were never seen again. Tudor historians claimed that Richard had the princes murdered but there is little concrete evidence for that. Some claim that the boys escaped and others that the murderer was not Richard but one of many people who had motives. Perhaps we shall never know the fates of the child princes, but maybe one day the truth will finally be discovered.

1.
The two princes were both named after previous kings. What were their names?
Henry and John
Edward and Richard
Edward and John
Henry and Richard
The eldest had the same name as his father, King Edward IV, and the youngest as his uncle, Richard III. Edward IV was named after Edward III, from whom he was descended, likewise Richard III was named after Richard II, the king of 100 years earlier who had his throne usurped by the Lancastrians
2.
Urged by his supporters, the princes' uncle, Richard, declared the boys to be illegitimate heirs to the throne and he was crowned as king in their stead. On what grounds were the boys said to be illegitimate?
Their parents had not been married when they were born
Their mother was still married to another when she married their father
Their parents' wedding had not been conducted by a registered priest
Their father had promised to marry another before he married their mother
Parliament passed an act known as Titulus Regius (Royal Title) which stated that King Edward was "...married and troth-plight to one Dame Eleanor Butler, daughter of the old Earl of Shrewsbury, with whom the same King Edward had made a precontract of Matrimony, long time before he made the said pretensed Marriage with the said Elizabeth Grey." The document also accuses Edward's wife, Elizabeth, and her mother, of using witchcraft to ensure the king would marry her
3.
After the end of the Wars of the Roses, the Tudor victors claimed that Richard had murdered his nephews. A book written in 1513 entitled History of King Richard III, was written by which famous Tudor figure who later served as chancellor to Henry VIII?
Sir Thomas Audley
Cardinal Thomas Wolsey
Sir Thomas More
Bishop Thomas Goodrich
More's work describes how the princes were murdered, on Richard's orders, by Miles Forrest and John Dighton. Coincidentally, a man named Miles Forrest was granted lands by Henry VIII. More's pro-Tudor histories did him no favours in the long run. He was executed by Henry VIII in 1535
4.
Tudor propaganda that Richard murdered his nephews was enshrined in the national consciousness as truth by which writer?
Robert Louis Stephenson
William Shakespeare
Charles Dickens
Christopher Marlowe
Shakespeare's plays about the Wars of the Roses were written during or just after the Tudor period. At that time, to suggest that Richard was innocent would have been risky given that the monarchy were descended from the man who defeated Richard. Anti-Richard propaganda had long since been accepted as undeniable truth
5.
In 1674 the bones of two children were discovered in the Tower of London buried along with animal bones. These were investigated by an anatomist in 1933. What did his tests prove?
The bones might have belonged to the princes
The princes were beheaded
The bones were not those of the princes
The princes were strangled
The only thing which could be proved was that the bones belonged to children roughly the same age as the princes when they disappeared. We do not know from which time period the bones come from or the cause of death. Even if it could be proven that the bones did indeed belong to the princes, we still would not know how they died; or if they were murdered, who the culprit was
6.
In 1789 two coffins containing the bodies of two children, possibly the princes, were found in a vault attached to whose tomb?
Henry VII's tomb
Richard III's tomb
Henry VI's tomb
Edward IV's tomb
Workmen accidentally broke into the tomb of Edward IV and his wife, Elizabeth. They found a small vault which contained two small coffins. The tomb was marked with the names George and Mary, two of Edward's children who died before their father. However, in the 1800s two more coffins were found which were marked as belonging to George and Mary. They were placed in the vault attached to Edward's tomb to lie beside the unidentified coffins. No investigation as to who is really inside the four coffins has ever taken place
7.
No official accusation or charge was ever made against Richard III regarding the murder of his nephews. The closest thing to a charge was when Henry VII declared that Richard was worthy of punishment without trial due to what crime?
Shedding of infants' blood
Suffocation of children
Murder of youngsters
Killing of minors
Henry accused Richard of, "the unnatural, mischievous and great perjuries, treasons, homicides and murders, in shedding of infants' blood, with many other wrongs, odious offences and abominations against God and man." Though it is not mentioned specifically, it is thought that 'shedding of infants' blood' is a veiled reference to the murder of the princes
8.
Besides Richard III, who is the most likely suspect for the princes' murders?
John Howard, Duke of Norfolk
Elizabeth, sister of the princes and wife of Henry VII
Henry VII
Jane Shore, Edward IV's mistress
After he took the crown from Richard, Henry had rival claimants to the throne executed. If the princes were still alive then they had a more convincing right to the crown than Henry and it would have been in his interest to have them killed. One historian says that Henry is "...the only plausible alternative to Richard III." John Howard and Jane Shore have both been suggested as possible murderers but historians say such theories are not worth "serious consideration"
9.
One man has been named by both the Tudors and the Yorkists as the man who murdered the princes. What is his name?
James Ford
James Plantagenet
James Stewart
James Tyrell
Thomas More claimed that Tyrell organised the murder on Richard III's orders, saying that Tyrell confessed to the crime under torture. There is no record of his confession though, except that given by More 11 years after Tyrell's death. Others suggest that Tyrell murdered the princes upon the order of Henry VII. Tyrell had been a Yorkist during the Wars but Henry granted him a pardon in 1486. It is thought that he may have been pardoned as a reward for his crime
10.
In the 1490s a man claiming to be one of the princes made a claim to the English throne as Richard IV. His attempt to overthrow Henry VII failed and he was executed. By what name is he remembered in history?
Lambert Simnel
Perkin Warbeck
Christian Butler
Warren Pinkrose
After his capture the man who claimed to be Richard was tortured and he named himself to his questioners as Perkin Warbeck. His account may not be reliable as it was given under duress. During his life he was recognised as the genuine Prince Richard by his aunt Margaret, the Holy Roman Emperor Maximillian and James IV of Scotland, amongst others. He bore a striking resemblance to his alleged father, Edward IV, and some historians (although the minority) believe that he was indeed who he claimed to be

 

Author:  Graeme Haw

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