SunXia wrote:There are far more interesting kings, he was a usurper who is basically responsible for the deaths of his nephews!!
So goes the legend, as popularised by the Bard. But that's just what it is
- legend, nothing more. The Tower of London was not even a prison during Richard's reign.
Either directly or indirectly, given that people can't decide if it was Richard III or Henry VII, it was Richard's actions as Lord Protector that caused their deaths!! Richard of York was not even in the tower with Edward V, as his mother had sought sanctuary and yet the Lord Protector tricked her into allowing him custody of the younger Prince!! It was his actions that allowed the princes to be "housed" in the Tower of London and allowed the subsequent events to take place!!
Edward IV died with two sons, had they been old enough to decide their own fates the Yorkist dynasty might well have been assured!! Had the Lord Protector also upheld that actual role the Yorkist dynasty might have still remained on the throne!! Sons were very important during that era as we can see by the consequences of infant mortality during Henry VIII's early reign and the events caused by the deaths of the small Dukes of Cornwall less than half a century later!!
But instead, Richard III had ambition and only one son but still took his chances even though that son was sickly and delicate!! His actions led to the downfall of the Yorkist and subsequently, the Plantagenet dynasty that had ruled for centuries!! After the Civil War that had plagued England, she had a King with two sons while he also had nephews and brothers!! When that King dies, Richard makes a move that weakens his dynasty and his support to the point that Henry Tudor was able to invade and create his own dynasty!!
Richard's actions allowed for it to happen and I'm more inclined to believe the Prince and King Edward V were dead before Buckingham's rebellion otherwise, why would he declare for Tudor when there were two others with a much stronger claim in the Tower including a King who was deposed on "hear-say" that his father might
have been previously engaged to someone else!! The usurpation split the country, Queen Anne hadn't half the knights accompanying her at her coronation as Elizabeth Woodville did!! Instead, the law and order established in the latter part of Edward IV's reign deteriorated into instability that led to the complete downfall of the Plantagenet family that had been in power since Henry II.
Indeed we don't know what way history would have gone and Richard III might have had the ability to be a good King but there was more to it than simply "I could do this job better, make me King" you need to have support you need to be able to make people believe you have the divine right to be King above everyone else!! But then, we do not know what kind of King Edward V would have been if given the chance but what happened to him was done by those who were meant to protect him and his right to the throne!! What we do know is that Edward IV restored order to a land ravaged by war and the actions of others after his death meant a return to rebellions and warfare well into the reign of Henry VII who was able to capitalize on the situations unfolding in England to make his unlikely Dynasty a reality!!