‘Which, upon the sight of them, caused those murderers to bury them at the stair foot, meetly deep in the ground, under a great heap of stones.
‘Then rode Sir James in great haste to King Richard and showed him all the manner of the murder, who gave him great thanks… But he allowed not, as I have heard, the burying in so vile a corner, saying that he would have them buried in a better place because they were a king’s sons.
‘Whereupon they say that a priest of Sir Robert Brackenbury took up the bodies again and secretly interred them in such a place as, by the occasion of his death, which only knew it, could never since come to light.’
Long after the priest’s death, the skeletons of two young boys were discovered at the Tower, buried not far away: ‘They were small bones of lads in their teens, and there were pieces of rag and velvet about them.’ Velvet suggested royalty. See future post for full details.
Did King Richard III really have his nephews murdered? All the evidence that he did comes from Tudor historians keen to blacken his name. The historians also claimed that Richard had a deformed spine. They said he had a hunchback that no one had ever mentioned during his lifetime.
Later historians concluded therefore that Richard had been done a grave injustice by the Tudors. He had been defamed in order to justify Henry VII’s accession to the throne after Richard’s death at the battle of Bosworth in 1485. Richard never had a hunchback, the sceptics claimed. It was all just Tudor propaganda, that his spine had been deformed.
That was before the discovery of Richard’s skeleton. As the photograph shows, he had a clear case of scoliosis: lateral spinal curvature. The Tudor historians had been right all along.
HISTORIC LONDON: X MARKS THE SPOT. Question 68. Where was King Richard III’s skeleton discovered ?
‘Scintillating’ – Literary Review
‘Sets an example that will be hard to equal’ – Daily Mail
Waterstone’s recommendation of the month