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Princes in the Tower: Was it Beaufort ?

By tboullemier, Nov 29 2017 03:16PM

THOSE of you who read my blog last week and watched The White Princess on TV on Saturday, will hopefully now agree it WAS Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry Vll, who organised the murder of the Princes in the Tower.

In the latest epsiode she had a vision of blood on her hands as she washed them, which was so far-fetched I expected to see the Princes’ faces appear at the bottom of the bowl.

But back in the day, I’ll bet there were plenty of bloody hands and faces in the real Margaret Beaufort dreams as she fought to keep her son’s shaky throne safe.

She would have stopped at nothing and she had the motive, the opportunity and the means to kill the Princes.

She was in London at the time they vanished. She knew people who had access to the Tower. She could assuredly whistle up thugs to do the deed.

Even if Henry were to dispose of Richard in battle, which he did at Bosworth, the boys would have been the two biggest barriers to him claiming on the throne.

Had they still been alive after Bosworth, they would have had to die then, as did the last surviving York heir, the hapless young Earl of Warwick.

I believe she simply disposed of them in advance of Henry Tudor’s invasion.

Questions are often asked why no-one appears to have spoken or written or caused a commotion at the time about how they died. It wasn’t until 40 years later that Sir Thomas Moore wrote his piece of Tudor propaganda, condemning Richard as the killer. And it was even longer before Shakespeare completed his thorough character assassination.

So if Margaret had the princes murdered, why didn’t Richard lll publicly accuse her and have her dragged into court?

Quite simply, because their deaths suited him. I’m convinced he would not have harmed his nephews. But when he discovered they had been murdered, it did remove the possibility that when they were older, they could become the focus of future plots to dethrone him.

I believe the reason Richard grabbed the throne while they were still alive, was to prevent himself being totally marginalised or even killed by the young king’s uncles from the Woodville family who were bent on controlling the young king.

This would have been standard Wars of the Roses practice. Richard had already seen the heads of his father and brother displayed on spikes above the gates of York and he had twice been exiled by his Lancastrian enemies. Why risk his life again?

So when they ‘disappeared’, probably not long after Richard’s coronation in 1483, he sat tight and said nothing.

And of course when Henry Tudor seized the crown in 1485, Henry would have known his own mother had arranged their deaths and he had every reason not to draw attention to them.

The only other possible culprit would have been the Duke of Buckingham. He had been an ally of Richard lll and he too had a claim to the throne and access to The Tower.

With the boys gone, either by his hand or another, the path was open to him if he could only get rid of Richard. But his rebellion failed and he paid for it with his life.

All we know for certain is that the boys simply ‘disappeared’ around the autumn of 1483 and all the powers in the land stayed silent, both before and after Bosworth.

So there you have it. Michelle Fairley is a superb Margaret Beaufort in the White Princess and it takes little imagination to see her briefing a vile pair of murdering thugs to smother two young and innocent princes in their bed.

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