This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle, This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars, This other Eden, demi-paradise, This fortress built by Nature for herself Against infection and the hand of war, This happy breed of men, this little world, This precious stone set in the silver sea, Which serves it in the office of a wall Or as a moat defensive to a house, Against the envy of less happier lands,-- This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England. ~~William Shakespeare, Richard III

Monday, August 17, 2009

This Day in History...

August 17, 1483 - The date presumed that two young princes, the uncrowned Edward V and his brother Richard, Duke of York, were killed in the Tower of London.

Young Edward became King upon the death of their father, Edward IV. He was brought to London and lodged in the Tower to await his coronation. However, it was brought to light that he and his siblings were all illegitimate because their father had been contracted to marry Eleanor Butler when he met and married Elizabeth Woodville. Their uncle, Richard of Gloucester, later Richard III, has been widely blamed for their deaths but what actually happened remains controversial. The three top suspects to this day are Richard III; Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, and Henry Tudor (Henry VII).

The bones of two young children were discovered during renovations to the Tower in 1674. Believing they could be the bodies of the lost princes, Charles II ordered them placed in an urn and interred in Westminster Abbey. In 1933 the bones were taken out and examined but they were only able to conclude that it was two children and they were probably related. Westminster Abbey has refused to allow a second examination.

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