Richard III was behind the 'Princes in the Tower' murder mystery

Has the mystery of ‘the Princes in the Tower’ finally been solved? King Richard III DID have a hand in the notorious disappearance of King Edward V and the Duke of York in 1483, study claims

  • Most prominent theory on ‘Princes in the Tower’ theory is that they were killed by King Richard III, their uncle 
  • This originates from a 16th century book by Tudor courtier Sir Thomas More who stated the regicide theory
  • But this was considered dubious as may have been Tudor propaganda to besmirch name of past monarch  
  • Professor Tim Thornton has proof that Sir Thomas had inside sources which give the theory credence
  • He found two sons of one of the killers sent by Richard III worked alongside Sir Thomas at court of Henry VIII

King Richard III likely did have King Edward V and Richard, Duke of York murdered when they were just children, an expert believes.

The princes were the sons of King Edward IV and when their father died, their uncle, King Richard III, locked them up in the Tower of London while he acted as regent. 

Their disappearance and believed murder in 1483 led to the long-standing ‘Princes in the Tower’ mystery, the greatest cold case in English history, which rumbles on to this day.

Many believe Richard III had the boys killed when they were just 12 and nine years old in order to take the throne for himself, where he ruled as King Richard III, one of the most controversial monarchs in English history. But evidence to support this theory has long been debated by experts. 

Now, Professor Tim Thornton of the University of Huddersfield has published a study which he claims could prove the ‘Princes in the Tower’ were indeed murdered by King Richard III.

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King Richard III likely did have his nephews, King Edward V and Richard, Duke of York, murdered when they were just children, an expert believes. A new finding backs up the claims the ‘princes in the Tower’ were murdered by their uncle 

The princes were the sons of King Edward IV and when their father died, their uncle Richard (pictured) — then the Duke of Gloucester — locked them up in the Tower of London while he acted a regent. Their disappearance and believed murder in 1483 led to the long-standing ‘Princes in the Tower’ enigma, the greatest cold case in English history, which rumbles on to this day

A new finding by Professor Tim Thornton adds credence to the book penned by Sir Thomas More in the 16th-century, called ‘The HIstory of Richard III’ 

Sir Thomas More, a trusted courtier of King Henry VIII in the early 16th century, wrote a book detailing the dark saga before he joined Henry VIII’s Privy Council, in 1518. 

His is the earliest detailed account of the deaths and it unmasks two men as the murderers — Miles Forest and John Dighton — who were acting on direct orders from Richard III. 

The book and its findings have been taken with skepticism by historians due to the fact Sir Thomas was five years old when the ‘Princes in the Tower’ scandal occurred.

It was believed his book and its theory may have been royal propaganda and published as a Tudor scheme to besmirch the name of the former king and boost public support for the new House. 

However, Professor Thornton has found evidence the alleged killer Miles Forest had two sons who became courtiers for King Henry VIII and worked alongside Sir Thomas. 

Professor Thornton speculates the two sons spoke with Sir Thomas about their father’s role in the infamous regicide and told him about the role Richard III played in having the princes slaughtered.  

These inside sources allowed Sir Thomas to publish his accusations against King Richard III, who has been portrayed for centuries as a hideous, hunchbacked and disfigured man, in part due to William Shakespeare’s depiction of him as a monstrous tyrant in his play, named after the infamous ruler.

‘This has been the greatest murder mystery in British history, because we couldn’t really rely on More as an account of what happened – until now,’ says Professor Thornton.

‘But I have shown that the sons of the chief alleged murderer were at court in Henry VIII’s England, and that they were living and working alongside Sir Thomas More. 

‘He wasn’t writing about imaginary people. We now have substantial grounds for believing that the detail of More’s account of a murder is credible.’

The murder of the two children, one of whom became the monarch when his father died, has captivated public attention for more than 500 years. 

They were ‘stifled with pillows by the order of their perfidious uncle Richard the Usurper’, according to the inscription on the urn their believed remains are kept in. 

Their death ranks atop the list of royal misdeeds and scandals due to the rippling side-effects it had on the royal family. 


The mystery of what happened to the Princes in the Tower is one of the most enduring in English history.

Richard III’s brother Edward IV, died unexpectedly in 1483.

Richard was made Lord Protector with charge of his two nephews: The young Edward V, aged 12, and his nine-year old brother, Richard, Duke of York.

The boys were locked up in the Tower of London and never seen again.

The suggestion is that Richard had had both boys murdered, just in case anyone tried to dispute his rights and sought to put young Edward back on the throne.

In 1674, almost 200 years after their death, the two skeletons were discovered under the stairs in the tower and reburied in Westminster Abbey.

The skeletons in the Abbey were last examined in 1933, but scientists were then unable to determine their sex, let alone find any clues to their identities.

Edward IV, father of the ‘Princes in the Tower’, became king of England because he was a direct descendent of Edward III, who ruled between 1312 and 1377, via both his mother and father’s heritage. 

Following the convoluted and bloody period of Plantagenet and Lancaster rulers, Edward IV became the Yorkist challenger to the throne when his father and brother were killed at the Battle of Wakefield in 1460. 

Edward then took up the Yorkist claim against Lancastrian incumbent Henry VI, leading to a successful deposition in 1461. 

The 19-year-old king went on to rule as monarch until his sudden death in 1483. 

He had many children, including Edward V; Richard, duke of York; and Elizabeth, who would go on to marry Henry Tudor. 

Edward’s brother Richard murdered his sons shortly after his death and claimed the throne for himself.

He died just two years later at the Battle of Bosworth, bested by Henry Tudor, the husband of the sister of the murdered princes. 

Richard’s demise in battle brought about the end of the War of the Roses and the centuries-long feuding between Yorkists and Lancastrians and ushered in the era of the House of Tudor, led by Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. 

Their son, Henry VIII, would become one of England’s most famous monarchs. 

Richard had the children of his brother murdered and claimed the throne for himself, but died just two years later at the Battle of Bosworth, bested by Henry Tudor, the husband of his niece and sister of the murdered princes. Richard III died in what became a car park in Leicestershire and was only recently discovered, with his body being reinterred at Leicester Cathedral in 2015

Richard III’s battlefield injuries included a metal arrowhead embedded in his back, and a severe blow to the head. He also had a severely curved spine; Richard was famously nicknamed Crookback.

His skeleton was found to have suffered ten injuries at the time of death, but only two skull wounds were potentially fatal and were most likely inflicted by a sword or a halberd – a spiked axe on a pole. 

The corpse was also subjected to ‘humiliation injuries’ – including a sword through the right buttock – likely to have been inflicted after death. 

Richard III was buried at a local friary which later became a car park in Leicestershire and was only recently discovered. His body was reinterred at Leicester Cathedral in 2015.

The mystery surrounding the princes was revived in the 1670s when the bones of two boys were discovered in the Tower of London, and again in the 1930s when the remains, which had been reburied in Westminster Abbey, were scientifically reexamined. 

However, the findings at the time were inconclusive and failed to determine the gender of the skeletons, let alone their royal credentials. 

There have been repeated calls to use modern genetic and archaeological techniques, similar to those employed to confirm Richard III’s remains, on these skeletons of the two children. 

However, it emerged in 2013 that the Church of England, backed by the Queen, has for decades refused requests by experts to test the skeletons. 

Their argument is that it could set a precedent for testing any number of historical theories linked to the many famous people buried at the church.

Clerics are also concerned what they will do with the bones if they are found not to belong to who they thought they did. 

Leicester University’s Turi King said in 2013 they could take DNA from the princes and match it with Richard III to find if they were related.

But a Westminster Abbey spokeswoman said the Richard III study ‘does not change the abbey’s position, which is that the mortal remains of two young children, widely believed since the 17th century to be the princes in tower, should not be disturbed.’

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