Was Richard III guilty?
The infamous Richard III, born on the 2nd of October 1452, was a man recognised, not for the Battle of Bosworth Field, nor for being the King of England from the years of 1483 to 1485, but for the alleged slaughter of his two nephews, Edward V and Richard, Duke of York, in London Tower, 1483. However, should this event be the origin of Richard’s fame? To assess the likelihood of the murders, I will be asking the question, ‘why?’ Why, if Richard were so loyal to his brother, would he kill his nephews? Why would the princes’ mother still trust Richard; despite the allegations he faced? Why, when Richard already declared the princes illegitimate, was there a need to dispose of the heirs to the throne? Why, if the bones of the boys were never found with certainty, was Richard declared responsible for the murders? In order to prove Richard’s innocence, an investigation must be made.
Richard possessed an undying allegiance towards his brother, Edward IV. This loyalty was not only shown when Clarence, Richard and Edward's brother, attempted to overthrow Edward from the throne, forcing Edward to flee the country, with Richard standing loyally by his brothers’ side, but also in Richard’s motto; ‘Loyaulte me lie,’ meaning ‘Loyalty binds me’. Why, if a man so loyal to his brother, would he kill his brother’s children? He wouldn’t. Richard showed though his actions that he had a desire to serve his brother, not to seize the crown.
In 1486, the Croyland Chronicler reported that Queen Elizabeth Woodsville, the princes’ mother, after some persuasion, sent her daughters to Richard’s court where Christmas was celebrated with much festivity, as well as a gift for the princes’ sister, Elizabeth. This raises the question, if Richard III did kill his nephews, why would their mother still put trust in Richard, and give consent for he children to bond with her sons ‘murderer’? The Queen knew that Richard was not the killer, but rather that it was