Did Richard III Kill the Princes in the Tower? Discuss!

Year 5 have been writing discussion texts in English about the mystery surrounding the disappearance of the Princes in the Tower. This is cross-curricular linked to their History Topic, leading up to The Wars of the Roses. Showcasing their research and perspectives are four of our pupils: Katie Binmore, Hina Baynard-Smith, Lewis Daniel and Millie Reid.

Did Richard III kill the Princes in the Tower? 

History tells us that Richard III was an evil murderer who was responsible for the killing of the princes in the tower. However  there are arguments to suggest that he did not commit the crime.  

1483 was the year that the princes went missing after being last seen in the white Tower. As lord protector Richard III was responsible for their well-being. Without the boys it may be that Richard saw a path to ascend the throne as he was the next in line.  However, with them in the background they would always be a threat to his claim, therefore Richard may have ordered the boys death.

Secondly, there is the killing/murder of Lord Hastings.  Nobody knows why Richard actually killed Hastings, although it is thought that Richard asked him for support . If Hastings refused Richard would have had to have him executed as Richard may have been hungry for the throne and Hastings probably would have supported Edward’s children.

Despite this, many believe that Richard III was not guilty of a lot of these crimes but especially the princes in the tower. The children were already claimed illegitimate – that meant they were no longer a threat to Richard anymore so there was no cause to kill the boys. Another reason for this argument is that it’s very suspicious that Elizabeth came out of sanctuary and started dancing with Richard. If she knew that he had killed her two boys why was she dancing with him? And if Richard had killed the brothers, Elizabeth probably would have been scared; therefore there is no way she would have left sanctuary.

The disappearance of th princes in the tower still remains one of the biggest mysteries of all time. I strongly believe that Henry Vll killed the boys because he never mentioned it again and also never accused Richard of the crime when he took the throne.

What do you think?

By Katie

Did Richard III Kill The Princes In The Tower?

There are numerous arguments about history’s biggest mysteries of all time, ‘The Murder of the Princes in the Tower.’ Many people have accused the monarch, the prince’s uncle, Richard III. History has portrayed him as a malicious and heinous man changing his portraits; making his lips thinner, curling his face into a wicked frown and his fingernails like talons, but other evidence suggests that it was Henry Tudor who could have secretly killed the innocent boys.

The princes were last seen in the tower in September 1483; in that time, Richard was the Lord Protector of the Realm, meaning he was in control of the boys and responsible for their well-being. Richard was eager for the throne and killed the Duke of Buckingham, Rivers and Grey. It wasn’t likely that Richard had a reason not to kill the princes as they would be on the throne in the next few years.

Additionally, the death of Hastings in 1483, points to Richard’s yearning for the royal seat and also for power.

However, there is plenty of evidence supporting the fact that Richard didn’t kill his nephews. He was very loyal to his brother as he fought in battles with him and also followed him into exile, while others deserted him. If he was obedient to him why would he turn his back on him? 

There were many heirs that would need getting rid of. Furthermore, Titulus Regius had announced the Princes illegitimate, so why the need for them to be killed?

Henry VII massacred all of the family of Yorkists which shows that it was believable that he had ordered Tyrrell to kill the princes. Also, Tyrrell was granted two royal pardons, one was issued to him for the work he did for Richard. The second was offered a month later, no one knew what it was given for. It was strongly believed that it may have been for the killing of the boys.

There have been various accounts of these mysteries and one explanation is by Mancini. He wrote this account when Edward’s coronation was about to happen. Most of Mancini’s writing didn’t make sense and it looked like he had lost the words in translation. (During that time he didn’t speak any English) He described Edward as ‘more subdued and was like a victim prepared for sacrifice’. This indicates that Edward assumed that Richard was intending to take the throne! Another account, ‘The Crowland Chronicle’ had been written a year after the events took place and the author decided to remain anonymous. Henry VII suppressed it for many years; it was possible that there was a secret that Henry was hiding.

After looking at both sides of the argument, my opinion is that Henry ordered Tyrrell to kill the two boys. But we might never know what happened to the princes in the tower. What do you think?

 By Hina

Did Richard kill the Princes in the Tower?

History portrays Richard as a horrible evil being but does all this evidence show that this is true? Did Richard kill the princes in the tower? Read on to find out what really happened. History, and most people, say that Richard was a horrible evil person who murdered many people for no reason. In Shakespeare’s books his enemies called him spider and hedgehog but there is no solid information that says who killed the princes.

The first argument points towards Richards guilt, because in 1483 Richard was the the princes lord protector which means they were his responsibility. That was the time when they disappeared from public viewing. Richard could have killed the boys because they would always be in the background and people would be arguing that Edward was the rightful king, even though the boys were declared illegitimate. This would also make Edward king for longer and strengthen Richard’s claim to the throne, creating a pathway for glory.

On 13th June 1483, Lord Hastings was executed on the streets by Richard, without trial. When Richard killed Hastings it showed he was on the journey to the throne. Richard may have asked Hastings for support and Hastings may have said he would support the boys because he was very loyal to Edward. This would be a problem as Hastings could raise his own army and fight against Richard.

Titus Regius is a document that declared the boys illegitimate because Edward’s marriage to Elizabeth Woodville was invaled. Edward was previously engaged to a woman in France, meaning the boys had no claim to the throne. This meant Richard was next in line and would be made Richard III. This also meant he had no reason to kill the princes. Supporting this was Henry’s marriage to Elizibeth – daughter of Edward. Before marrying her he had to re-legitimise the boys and if they were still alive they would be a big threat to Henry’s crown and Edward would have been the rightful king.

Another point is if Richard killed the princes he would have had to kill nine other heirs; instead he made Earl of Warwick his heir to the throne and didn’t kill any of them.

Because he was Tyrrell, he was very loyal to Richard and a dodgy character who did all Richard’s dirty work.When Richard died and Henry became king Tyrrell did surprisingly well. He was issued with a pardon probably because he was fighting under Richard. Exactly one month later, he was issued with another pardon that might have related to the killing the princes. Tyrrell was later executed for helping a Yorkist escape to France. 

Richard was accused by William Shakespear of poisoning Anne Neville. But it’s most likely that she died from tuberculosis. A doctor even suggested staying away from her. 

Thomas Moore was writing under a Tudor monarch as was Shakespeare, a playwright. Also Thomas Moore had several of the dates wrong. 

After Richard’s death Henry the VII and VIII destroyed the whole Yorkist line. Warwick was executed for planning an escape. Richard’s son was executed for receiving a letter to go to Ireland. Margret was executed for no reason. This shows that both the Henrys were ruthless and how scared they were because they had such a weak claim to the throne. `

After looking at both sides of the argument we will never know who killed the princes. My personal opinion is that Henry killed the princes and Richard was an innocent man. 

By Lewis



There are many rumours among history about what happened to the Princes in the Tower. A common theory is that Richard III killed them. He is portrayed throughout history as a cruel, malicious man. However, much evidence says this information wasn’t true. 

The princes in the tower were under Richard’s custody when they disappeared in 1483. As Richard was Lord Protector of the realm, he had full control over the boys, so this was very suspicious. The princes were the only thing in the way of him and his desire for the throne, as they held the only higher title than him. 

In addition to this, the death of Lord Hastings pointed towards Richard’s guilt and desire for the crown. Hasting’s execution was interestingly pursued without trial in 1483, the same year the boys went missing!  It is possible that Richard asked Hastings for his support and he refused.

Despite this, there is still much evidence to say Richard didn’t commit this heinous crime. According to history, he was very loyal to his brother, Edward, even when he went into exile, Richard came with him, though many deserted him. If he was this loyal to Edward, why turn on him then?

Furthermore, there were nine other heirs that would need disposing of, and two of them males. Also, an official government document, Titulus Regius, had declared  the princes illegitimate, so why the need for them dead?

This baffling mystery still remains undiscovered. The fact remains that they disappeared in September 1483 from the Tower Of London is the only evidence we know to be true. There are many different accusations against different people. So, what do you think?       

                             By Millie