Who’s Who – Edward V (Princes in the Tower)

A guide to the key names in the Edward V podcast episode:

The Royal Family (the Yorkists)

Edward V – the King! (and the oldest of the princes in the tower)

Richard, Duke of York – Edward’s younger brother who is the second prince in the tower.

Elizabeth Woodville – the mother of the princes. She saw the danger of the usurpation before others but was unable to prevent it.

Earl Rivers – Edward’s maternal uncle, who tutored the young prince before being arrested by Gloucester when escorting the young king to London.

The Dead (featured in previous episodes but relevant to this one too!)

Edward IV – the previous king, married to Elizabeth Woodville and father to Edward V. Ruled successfully but left a divided court behind in his wake which would prove fatal to his son’s succession. Named his younger brother, Richard Duke of Gloucester, as Protector in his will.

Key Players

William Hastings – best friend of the late Edward IV but an enemy of Elizabeth Woodville. Initially supported Gloucester but realised too late the danger that he posed to the young king.

Archbishop Bouchier – the Archbishop of Canterbury who had married Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville. A trusted friend but he persuaded Elizabeth to surrender the custody of her youngest son, Prince Richard, with disastrous effects.

The Chroniclers

Dominic Mancini – an Italian visiting England in 1482-83 who published an account of his visit featuring accounts of reports and rumours as to the fate of the princes.

Croyland Chronicle – unknown author but another account of this period written at the Benedictine Abbey of Croyland in Lincolnshire.

The Suspects

Richard Duke of Gloucester (Richard III) – younger brother of Edward IV and uncle to the princes. Richard shocked the nation by seizing control of Edward V and then proceeding to declare him illegitimate and take the throne for himself.

Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham – Gloucester’s right-hand man with a hatred of the Woodville family and his own claim to the throne.

Henry Tudor – ahead of Buckingham, the main heir to the Beaufort and Lancastrian claims to the throne. Exiled in Brittany in 1483 but his seizure of the throne in 1485 gives him a potential opportunity to kill the princes if they were still alive.