The Princes in the Tower

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Did Richard III Really Kill The Princes in the Tower? Most children have heard of Richard III, the evil, hunchbacked uncle who killed his nephews, the Princes in the Tower. But did he really do it? Throw this question out to a group of historians and you're likely to receive one of two answers: "Yes, of course he did." or "No, he's completely innocent." Having spent years doing research on this topic, I've come to the conclusion that the answer lies somewhere in between. Though I do not believe that he took a pillow himself and smothered them, or even that he ordered someone to do so, I do feel he was at least partially responsible for their deaths. Sitting on the fence, you say? Well, yes, I have to admit that I am. My first introduction to the whole controversy was Sharon Kay Penman's novel The Sunne In Splendour. In it she shifts the blame from Richard to his cousin, Henry, Duke of Buckingham. I then read Josephine Tey's classic The Daughter of Time, in which a bed-ridden police detective sets out to prove Richard was not a killer and that the Princes lived into the reign of Henry Tudor. Using novels to learn history, you say? Well, yes. Not that I depend on them exclusively, but the two abovementioned authors did do a lot of research and are valuable as introductions to the controversy surrounding what has come to be known as They Mystery of The Princes in the Tower. In my third year of university I took a course in English history and had the chance to write an essay about Richard III, which I subtitled Loyaulté me Lie (Loyalty Binds Me), Richard's personal motto. I used this as the basis of my thesis statement, that he was too restricted by family ties, and the oath of loyalty he took to his brother, Edward IV, father of the Princes, to kill them. Looking back on that essay now, I see just how naive I was, but the essence of what I said remains true. I do

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