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Topic: Richard III - Who done it?

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Subject: Richard III - Who done it?
Date Posted: 6/3/2010 11:38 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
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I was just reading the thread in which the convo has turned to Richard III, and I had a question, but didn't want to hijack.

If you believe Richard did not kill the princes, who do you believe did?

This is one of history's mysteries that I really wish could be definitively answered!

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 6/3/2010 12:14 PM ET
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How about Henry Tudor they were in his way to thrown as well.

Alice

Date Posted: 6/3/2010 12:15 PM ET
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I think Margaret Beaufort and her 4th husband conspired with her son Henry VII to do away with the princes.  They had the most to gain from their deaths, and in fact did so. Thomas Stanley was high up in the councils of Edward IV and Richard III.  But step father to the King  must have been  tempting.   Margaret was nobody's fool, smart ruthless patient and ambitious for her son. 



Last Edited on: 6/3/10 1:11 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/3/2010 1:35 PM ET
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I tend to agree that Margaret Beaufort was at least involved or aware. 

Date Posted: 6/3/2010 1:50 PM ET
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There are lots of options but I tend towards Margaret and/or That. Upstart. Henry. Tudor.

We've had this debate once or twice at the R3 group at Goodreads. It's a lot of fun as we have Susan H., Brian Wainwright and other authors jumping in on the debate along with mere readers like us.  I don't believe in the R3 pure as the driven snow ideal a couple of authors have been writing, but I don't believe he's the baddie of the piece either.

Date Posted: 6/3/2010 5:11 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
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Who had the most to gain with the Princes' death? Henry Tudor & (in agreement w/ Jerelyn & others), his very own Mommy Dearest. It was only after the Princes were out of the way, that he could safely make the case that his betrothed was, in fact, a legitimate Princess, thus combining the two sides of the Royal House with a nice neat bow. We know Henry (& his minions) immediately set about rewriting history. I envision that while his head was being measured for the royal crown, he was simultaneously instructing his scribes on what records needed to be written (and rewritten). It is no wonder Richard's story is cast with such doubt ... history is always written by the winner.

Who had the most to lose ... and therefore should really be above suspicion? In my opinion, Richard. I agree w/ Cathy that he may not have been a candidate for sainthood; although he was probably as good as (if not better than) some who did make it to Sainthood-Status. I don't think one could keep heart, mind & body all together (literally & figuratively!) when one is born into the family Richard was and handed the responsiblities Richard had. He had to be politically savvy, astute, ruthless when necessary and very smart.

Could he have killed his nephews? Perhaps. At least order it done. Would he have? Maybe. If he had something to gain; which I don't see that he did.

Would he have kept their deaths & bodies a secret? Not a chance. Back to being politically astute, savvy & very smart. The mystery of the Princes was his political minefield and nightmare. The Princes became his "blue dress"; his Hurricane Katrina; his Watergate, his Vietnam War, his Gulf Oil Disaster. (This, more than anything else convinces me of his innocence.) If he had had the Princes killed, he would have fabricated an illness or an accident. We would have publicly & loudly mourned their loss & said masses for their souls. And, if murder was determined, we would have found a fall guy & had him quickly tried & executed. No way the King would have allowed this kind of mystery to fester if he could have done anything about it. That the Princes just simply vanished in a puff of smoke was absolutely not in the King's favor.

Kelly

Date Posted: 6/3/2010 5:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
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Good summary, Kelly. 

My opinion shakes out in terms of probabilities:

I can?t point to any single one of the candidates as the most likely to have killed them. But as I assess the potential for various points of time, candidates, motives, and differing degrees of opportunity, as well as varying levels of culpability, only one of them exceeds 50% chance of responsibility in some capacity: Henry.

For example, let?s say that Margaret Beaufort recruited various conspirators, including Buckingham (for his access) on Henry?s behalf. In that case, all three of them ?did it?. Margaret as the instigator and driving force, Buckingham as a co-conspirator (who may well have decided to join it to suit his own interests, not theirs) and the buck would stop with Henry, regardless of whether he was even aware of it beforehand. Frankly, even if Margaret did it on her own, without a word to or from Henry, I would assign her full share of culpability to Henry as well, because there?s no question that such a thing was on his behalf and would have had his enthusiastic support and participation as the situation allowed.

Overall, I think the person least likely to be responsible is Richard because he had the most to lose and the least to gain. I think the person most likely to be directly involved in some capacity was Buckingham, when you combine the odds that he acted on his own initiative, behalf and interests (buck stopped with him), and some odds that he was involved in a broader conspiracy with the Tudors. Finally, I think it maybe 25% chance at best that they survived Richard?s reign and Henry directly ordered it, but when you combine that chance with the one that it was the result of conspiracy beforehand on his behalf, for which I would hold him fully responsible, I think you just exceed 50% that Henry was responsible in some way. Something like:

25% chance the survived R3 reign = Henry ordered it (but really, the more I think about it, the less likelihood I give this.)

75% chance they were killed during Richard?s reign, made up of
----20% chance Richard did it
----27% chance Buckingham did it (?alone?)
----28% chance Margaret drove a conspiracy, of which 50/50 (14% of overall) that Buckingham was involved; full 28% also attributed to Henry.

So I?ll assess the overall odds of responsibility in some capacity as:
Richard: 20%
Buckingham: 41% (22% alone + 11.5% in a Tudor conspiracy)
Margaret Beaufort: 28%
Henry: 53% (25% during his reign + 28% conspiracy beforehand)

 

Date Posted: 6/3/2010 5:44 PM ET
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BTW, you all might want to look at Royal Blood by Bertram Fields. He takes it from the viewpoint of an attorney preparing to defend R3 and examines the evidence. Weir takes quite a beating in this one, as well as Shakespeare.

Date Posted: 6/3/2010 5:46 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
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Holy Statistics Batman!  I am impressed Sharla.smiley

Date Posted: 6/3/2010 7:31 PM ET
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After all of the above comments, I can only say: "Henry Tudor, the snake!!!"

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 6/3/2010 9:49 PM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
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Henry's mama was none too nice either, the apple did not fall too far.

Alice

Date Posted: 6/4/2010 1:24 AM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
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Letty, I work with decision trees a lot in analyzing claims values.  Any time I am looking at multiple potential outcomes, or in this instance an assessent of past variables, I naturally go to decision tree type analysis.  I did that one some months ago, but since then I've read a few more things and I probably drop their chances of surviving R3's reign to more like 10-15% now.  Which only increases the odds, I think, that it was Buckingham and/or Margaret Beaufort who was more directly responsible for whoever physically did the deed.

 

 

Date Posted: 6/4/2010 11:06 AM ET
Member Since: 9/21/2009
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I'm in the Margaret Beaufort camp.  With conspirators most likely.  Could have son Henry ordered it done?  Absolutely-but Henry was in exile for R3's reign.  I don't see him as the spearhead(alone) for this effort.  Agree that R3 is actually the least likely one-he had the most to lose.  Of course, maybe one or both escaped as is made mention of in Robin Maxwell's "To the Tower Born"...that's what I'd like to think anyway.....

Date Posted: 6/4/2010 2:11 PM ET
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It's nice to hope they escaped, but I think the odds are remote.  I believe quite strongly that at the time Henry reinstated Elizabeth's legitimacy, he was bloody sure they were dead, whether because Mommie dearest was involved before Bothsworth, or whether he ordered it after Bothsworth.  And I lean so heavily toward it being more than "just" Buckingham, because it seems to me that when Perkin Warbeck showed up, Henry would have publicized the evidence of their deaths, provided that said evidence pointed away from him and his interests.  If it really was "just Buckingham", and Henry DIDN'T publicize that, then it was probably for the same reason that Richard didn't -- they each knew that facts were convoluted enough that Buckingham's guilt wouldn't exhonerate either of them.  During Richard's reign, it would have been presumed that he did so upon Richard's orders, while afterwards, it would be presumed that he was in cahoots with the Tudors whose cause he adopted after rebelling against Richard.   And as to who actually, physically did the deed?  I have no idea, beyond it being someone with whom Henry could not plausibly disclaim involvment.

Date Posted: 6/4/2010 8:10 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
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I hold Richard responsible whether he ordered the deed or not. I disagree with those who say Henry Tudor had the most to gain. Henry could only gain by ridding the country of Richard, which of course he did eventually.

Richard had the most to gain from the princes death. What baffles me is why he kept it secret. During those times, kings did away with potential threats to the throne at whim. So, could he have thought them alive at the time of his death?

Date Posted: 6/5/2010 12:03 AM ET
Member Since: 9/21/2006
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Margaret Beaufort is my guess but i think she had the most to gain by having her son on the throne.

Date Posted: 6/5/2010 1:17 AM ET
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Interesting, Genie, that you would hold Richard responsible even if he thought them alive at his death. I would, also, in one situation: if it was one if his men, acting on his behalf and interests, and who reasonably thought they had his approval ... In a Henry II "Will no one rid me of this priest!" sort of way, perhaps. Tacit approval, if not explicit order  If his (R3's) words and actions about them were such that those closest to him expected him to order their deaths at any time, and one of them acted on that, that's no different than holding Henry responsible if his people (including mother) acted in his interests but without his knowledge while he was on the continent.  In Henry's case, though, the reason I have no reluctance to assign him full moral culpability in such a case is because there's no question that he'd approve their deaths, if he was in the position to do so. His track record speaks for itself.  He'd more likely say, "Why are you waiting around for my say-so? Make it happen yesterday!" 

Date Posted: 6/5/2010 8:23 AM ET
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Good point Genie and if I recall that's the *take* Tannehill took in Seventh Son - even if he didn't commit and/or plan the actual deed the boys were in his care.  We need a time machine to solve this puzzle for us.

Date Posted: 6/5/2010 11:46 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
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You have all made reasoned arguments that I enjoyed reading. Oh, what I wouldn't give for that time machine.....

I believe that it was done for Henry. If Richard had done it, wouldn't he have been smart enough to blame it on a terrible illness? Of course, there are people who wouldn't have believed him, even if they really HAD died of an illness, but at least he would have had an excuse. I don't have a hard time believing that he could have had it done. After all, he wouldn't have been the first nor last willing to kill in order to hang on to power.

Date Posted: 6/6/2010 8:49 AM ET
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Interesting, Genie, that you would hold Richard responsible even if he thought them alive at his death.

Yep, simply because he was the king. Just as I would hold any CEO responsible for the success or failure of an organization. If Richard didn't know, he should have.

If he thought them alive, why didn't he produce them when pressed? Many argue this point as his innocence. But this is how I see it:

Ultimately, I believe he knew they were dead. I believe he knew how they died. But for some unfathomable reason - perhaps misplaced honor or sheer political stupidity - he chose to remain silent.