From the Fortress of Solitude
The title of this post is correct. Our family lines form an intricate, dark and tangled web around our newly discovered Great Grandfather Edward IV of England. I shall try to make this brief and to the point so you can understand.
Edward IV, as we learned in the last post (see the Relationship Chart in January 19th's Post) was our 15th Great Grandfather through his daughter Elizabeth, by his mistress Elizabeth Lucy or Waite.
Elizabeth Woodville, Queen of England. 16th Great Aunt.
OK, now that we have that figured out, let me introduce you to Henry Stafford the 2nd Duke of Buckingham (4 September 1455 – 2 November 1483) was Anne Stafford’s father and our 16th Great Grandfather. When he was young he was the ward of Queen Elizabeth Woodville, Consort of Edward IV of England. In May 1465 he married the Queen’s sister Catherine. He spent much of his life plotting to take the throne of England.
When Edward IV died, his son Edward V took the throne. He was 13 at the time. Edward was born in 1470 and died in 1483? His brother was Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York (1473 - 1483?). They were the only sons of Edward IV.
In May of 1483 Edward and his brother Richard, arrived in London for his coronation. They lived in the Tower of London, then a royal residence. Richard at that point was with his mother Elizabeth Woodville, our 16th Great Aunt, in sanctuary, but joined his brother in the Tower in June. Both princes were declared illegitimate by an Act of Parliament of 1483 known as Titulus Regius, and their uncle Richard Duke of Gloucester was crowned as Richard III. There are reports of the two princes being seen playing in the Tower grounds shortly after Richard joined his brother, but there are no recorded sightings of either of them after the summer of 1483. Their fate remains disputed, and many historians presume that they either died or were killed in the Tower. There is no record of a funeral.
In 1674, the skeletons of two children were discovered under the staircase leading to the chapel, during the course of renovations to the White Tower. At that time, these were believed to have been the remains of the two princes. On the orders of Charles II the remains were reburied in Westminster Abbey. In 1933, the grave was opened to see if modern science could cast any light on the issues, but precise identification of the age and gender was not then possible.
So, our two 16th Great Uncles were most likely murdered while living in the Tower of London.
And now it gets interesting. It is rumored that the two princes were murdered by our 16th Great Grandfather Henry Stafford (a Great Grandfather along a different family line).
Yes, it sets your mind spinning doesn't it?
Henry Stafford, Our 16 Great Grandfather
So to sum up, our two 16th great uncles, children of our 15th Great Grandfather Edward IV of England were murdered as children by our 16th Great Grandfather, Henry Stafford in the Tower of London in 1483.
Got it? Whew.......
Perhaps this short video might help.