‘So was he brought forth into the green beside the chapel within the Tower, and his head laid down upon a long log of timber, and there stricken off, and afterward his body with the head interred at Windsor beside the body of King Edward, whose both souls our Lord pardon.’
With Lord Hastings out of the way, there was nobody else to stop Richard from assuming the crown for himself, even though his two nephews were still alive (including Edward V, the rightful new king).
Not only that, but Richard’s nieces were still alive as well. The two little princes had five sisters. They were with their mother, Elizabeth Woodville, the widow of Edward IV. Determined to keep her children out of Richard’s clutches after her husband’s death, she had fled with her daughters and her younger son to sanctuary rather than let him anywhere near them.
Richard quickly persuaded Elizabeth that her younger son would be safer under his protection at the Tower of London (‘It were comfortable for them both that he were with his brother because the king lacketh a play fellow’). Elizabeth flatly refused to give up her daughters, however. They remained with her in sanctuary.
HISTORIC LONDON: X MARKS THE SPOT. Question 63. Where did Edward IV’s widow seek sanctuary with her five daughters?
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