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Rumours about the disappearance of the princes and their uncle's part in it soon began to circulate on the continent, where those who were disaffected by the current regime had taken refuge.
However, it was only after Richard's own death that the accusations became more substantive and they are still popularly believed.
This story is well known from Shakespeare's play The The Bones from the Tower The Tower of London© Geoffrey Wheeler This story is often said to have been confirmed by the discovery of the bones of two children within the foundations of a staircase in the Tower of London in 1674.
In 1678 some bones, said to be the same ones, were interred in an urn in Westminster Abbey as the bones of the princes by order of Charles II.
Thomas More's murder account The Princes in the Tower were the two sons of King Edward IV of England.
The elder of the two succeeded to the throne as Edward V on the death of his father in April 1483.
With the advance of knowledge and with new techniques available, the conclusions of the 1933 examination are now disputed.
The categorical statements made in the report which followed the examination would not now be made by modern forensic scientists, who would stress the uncertainties in the determination of age, sex, family relationship, date of death and so on.
To take just one example, modern forensic techniques show that the ages arrived at for the two skeletons are highly disputable and they may both be younger than they would be if they were the princes.
Furthermore, the age gap between the two children appears to be less than the three years that separate the births of Edward and Richard, the two princes.
Nonetheless, Shakespeare of course picked up on the idea that Richard was born feet forward. Nonetheless, a parallel tale that Richard was weak as a child seemed to reinforce the idea. It derives solely from a poem in the Clare Roll listing all of the children in Richard’s family.
The relevant passage runs: John after William next born was, Which both be passed to God’s grace; George was next, and after Thomas Born was, which soon after did pace By the path of death into the heavenly place; Richard liveth yet; but the last of all Was Ursula, to him who God list call.
In 1933 they were exhumed and, after examination, were declared to be the bones of two children of the right age and thus assumed to be the bones of the princes.