Princes in the Tower

The Fate of the Princes in the Tower
The fate of the Princes in the Tower has long been shrouded in mystery and historians struggle to reach agreement over what exactly happened.  It is clear that in 1483 following Edward IV’s death, the Princes were sent to the Tower of London by Richard, Duke of Gloucester and within six weeks, Richard had the Princes declared illegitimate and himself crowned King Richard III.  By the summer of 1483, there were no more recorded sightings of the Princes.  It is largely presumed that the Princes were murdered, but there is no definite proof of this; resulting in a number of theories being put forward concerning their fate.
The most popular theory amongst historians is that the Princes were murdered around the time of their disappearance and that Richard III was responsible.   A.J Pollard regards Richard as the prime suspect with a definite motive.  By declaring the boys illegitimate, Richard cleared his way to the throne but his hold on the monarchy remained insecure. Having already faced rebellion and an attempt to restore Edward V to the throne, it was evident that the Princes would remain a threat as long as they were alive.  Despite rumours circulating that he had killed the Princes, Richard never attempted to prove his innocence, which would have been in his interest if he was not responsible for their deaths.  Peter Hancock disagrees with Pollard, stating that there is no hard evidence linking Richard to the murders or, indeed, little evidence of untimely death at all.   Hancock believes that prior to becoming king, Richard had shown loyalty to his brother Edward IV and was unlikely to harm his nephews following Edward’s death, instead, he would have protected them.   Both Hancock and Philippa Langley believe that the reason the Tudors lived in fear and the reason Elizabeth Woodville, the Princes’ mother, eventually reconciled with Richard, was because they both knew the truth.  Langley argues that the evidence is purely...